US marks Russian invasion anniversary with sweeping sanctions
Washington, Feb 24 (EFE).- The United States on Friday marked the first anniversary of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine with sweeping new sanctions on Russia and further military and economic support for Kyiv.
The raft of measures come just days after US president Joe Biden made his first war-time visit to Ukraine, where he met with president Volodymyr Zelenskyy to express Washington’s ongoing support in the face of Russia’s aggression.
“Today, on the one-year anniversary of Russia’s invasion, the United States is announcing a series of additional actions to continue providing Ukraine with the support it needs and holding Russia accountable for its war of aggression,” the White House said in a statement Friday.
In a separate press release, the Department of State published a list of 60 political figures, including government ministers and regional governors, as well as financial companies and other firms to come under US sanctions.
The government office said the raft of sanctions targeted individuals with links to the Russian government, those responsible for recruiting citizens to fight in Ukraine and entities that fund Moscow’s aggression.
The list included nine members of Vladimir Putin’s government, including the culture minister Olga Lyubimova, sports minister Oleg Matytsin and civil defense minister Aleksandr Kurenkov.
The state department also named entities and individuals accused of undermining the “peace and stability of the United States and its allies.”
Among them are a number of individuals accused of facilitating the theft of grain and of operating in areas of Ukraine occupied by Russia.
The US Department of Defense on Friday announced an additional package of military support worth $2 billion, which included the provision of high-precision Himars missile systems, drones and munitions.
“Today’s solemn anniversary is an opportunity for all who believe in freedom, rules, and sovereignty to recommit ourselves to supporting Ukraine’s brave defenders for the long haul—and to recall that the stakes of Russia’s war stretch far beyond Ukraine,” defense secretary Lloyd Austin said in a Pentagon statement.
The US has provided Ukraine with over $32 billion in military assistance since Russia launched its invasion on February 24 last year, the statement added.
In a separate press release Friday, the White House said it would provide $9.9 billion in economic support in the form of grants. EFE