MOSCOW (AP) — The White House says President Joe Biden is ordering new sanctions after Russia moved to recognize separatist eastern Ukraine regions.
The Biden administration calls Monday’s announcement by Russian President Vladimir Putin a “blatant violation of Russia’s international commitments.”
The sanctions will prohibit new investment, trade and financing in the two separatist regions of Ukraine recognized by Putin.
The European Union’s top officials have also said the bloc will impose sanctions.
EU Commission President Ursula von der Leyen and Council President Charles Michel say in a joint statement that such recognition is “a blatant violation of international law.”
The statement adds that the bloc “will react with sanctions” and “reiterates its unwavering support to Ukraine’s independence, sovereignty and territorial integrity within its internationally recognised borders.”
Russian President Vladimir Putin has recognized the independence of Moscow-backed rebel regions in eastern Ukraine, a move that will further fuel tensions with the West amid fears of Russian invasion.
Putin’s move Monday follows days of heightened tensions in Ukraine’s eastern industrial heartland, where Ukrainian forces are locked in a nearly eight-year conflict with Russia-backed separatists that has left more than 14,000 people dead.
Putin’s recognition of the rebel-held territories’ independence effectively shatters a 2015 peace deal for eastern Ukraine.
He said Moscow would now sign friendship treaties with the rebel territories, a move that could pave the way for Russia to openly support them with troops and weapons.