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Russia sanctioned by US and allies over Ukraine

People walk past the body of a relative outside a destroyed building after bombings on the eastern Ukraine town of Chuguiv on February 24, 2022. (AFP)

The Russian President, Vladimir Putin, has signed a decree recognizing the breakaway Luhansk and Donetsk regions in eastern Ukraine as independent republics. 

President Putin made the announcement live on television after an emotional address in which he referred to eastern Ukraine as ancient Russian lands and said it was managed by foreign powers.

Putin also ordered the Russian Defence Ministry to deploy troops into the two regions. The decree was issued shortly after Putin announced his recognition of the region's independence from Ukraine.

Putin also accused Ukraine of extreme nationalism and Russia phobia alleging that Kiev was sending saboteurs to target Russian infrastructure.

The Russian President denounced Ukraine's ambition to join NATO as an immediate threat of attack against his country. Putin said the decision was in response to years of conflict in war torn Eastern Ukraine and accused Kiev of not being interested in peaceful solutions.

The Russian Foreign Minister, Sergei Lavrov, has said Moscow will act as a guarantor of the security and integrity of the two breakaway Republic's in Donetsk and Luhansk.

Well, I think it sends the message that that Russia is extremely concerned by the fact that the United States has not given any indication of recognizing some of their demands for security for Russia, as well as security for the West, moving ahead with military operations and military equipment in Ukraine.

William Jones, Executive Intelligence Review

The latest crisis can be traced back to 2014 when Western backed protesters allied with Ukraine's pro Moscow government. Tensions then flared up in eastern Ukraine. Following a brief war, the Crimea came under the control of Moscow when the peninsula was reabsorbed into Russia following a referendum.

Ukraine, as well as most of the world, considered the referendum illegitimate and views the Crimea as illegally occupied by Moscow.

At the Munich Summit, of course, President Zelenskiy was there saying that Ukraine wanted to be the bastion of the West against Russia, calling also on a possibility of them becoming a nuclear power. This, of course, is absolutely unacceptable for Russia and speaking words were not sufficient, therefore, they had to take action.

William Jones, Executive Intelligence Review

The decision by Russia to recognize the independence of Luhansk and Donetsk has sparked criticism.

The British Prime Minister, Boris Johnson, has announced that Britain is imposing a series of sanctions against Russia. Five Russian banks, as well as three very high net worth individuals, have had their UK assets frozen.

The Dutch Prime Minister said the European Union countries have agreed to impose a limited set of sanctions targeting those who are responsible for Russia's recognition of the breakaway regions.

Germany has also decided to freeze the certification of the Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline project, which is considered to be a serious blow to Russia's energy sector.

The US President, Joe Biden, has said that the United States would impose financial penalties on Russia because of its deployment of troops into the two breakaway regions of eastern Ukraine.

Well, the US has already introduced sanctions.

President Biden did that last month. I don't think sanctions by Ukraine against Russia are going to have much of an effect but the US sanctions, and whatever they can pull together with the so called allies, will have an effect, but the problem is that there's a very, very, shaky international financial system that we have today.

It is a bubble economy, and the slightest shock can pull the whole thing down.

William Jones, Executive Intelligence Review

President Joe Biden said that the US would sanction Russian sovereign debt and the Russian elite, as well as their family members.

Economic sanctions will be placed on Russia's biggest financial institutions as well. The president said he's also working with Germany to prevent the Nord Stream 2 pipeline from moving forward and is cutting off the Russian government from Western financing.

So what the West is risking here, regardless really of what the Russians do in retaliation, I'm sure they will react in whatever way they think possible, this whole system can come down in the world's greatest depression.

So you have that, the shaky financial system which is being shaken even more by this crisis, you have the spread of COVID and you have the danger of war, In fact, the possibility of nuclear war.

If this goes further It can be, really, the end of humanity as we know it.

William Jones, Executive Intelligence Review

Japan will likely join US led sanctions against Russia, including a ban on chip and other key technology exports, should Putin order an all out invasion of Ukraine.

Russia has accused NATO of encroaching on its sphere of influence.

It says NATO's addition of 14 new East European members since the end of the Cold War is a threat to its security. It says Ukraine must not be allowed to join the military alliance.

The US and its allies have ruled out defending Ukraine with military force saying they would respond to any invasion with sanctions, arms shipments and reinforcements of NATO countries nearby.


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