President Joe Biden said the United States as well as its allies and partners will be imposing severe sanctions on Russia over its invasion of Ukraine.
Biden has scheduled a virtual meeting with G7 Leaders at 9 a.m ET Thursday to discuss the ongoing situation with regard to Russia and Ukraine.
Secretary of State Antony Blinken and Secretary of the Treasury Janet Yellen will attend the meeting.
The President said that after the meeting he will address the nation “to announce the further consequences the United States and our Allies and partners will impose on Russia for this needless act of aggression against Ukraine and global peace and security.”
Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison called Russia’s invasion of Ukraine “brutal” and “unprovoked,” while announcing new sanctions on 25 more individuals and four financial institutions.
British Prime Minister Boris Johnson is set to announce more sanctions against Russia later on Thursday.
The European Union said Putin has brought war back to Europe and is preparing a “massive and strategic” package of sanctions on Russia.
In a statement following the attack by Russian military forces, Biden said, “President Putin has chosen a premeditated war that will bring a catastrophic loss of life and human suffering. Russia alone is responsible for the death and destruction this attack will bring, and the United States and its Allies and partners will respond in a united and decisive way. The world will hold Russia accountable.”
The U.S. President said he will be monitoring the situation from the White House and will continue to get regular updates from his national security team. “We will also coordinate with our NATO Allies to ensure a strong, united response that deters any aggression against the Alliance.”
Immediately after Russian state television unexpectedly broadcast an address by President Vladimir Putin in the early hours of Thursday, Russian forces crossed the border from multiple directions and launched a major military assault on Ukraine with reports of missile strikes and explosions in major cities, including capital Kiev.
The attack is focused on Ukrainian military targets, sparing civilian areas, reports say.
Based on reports, casualties have been on the rise.
Moscow denied Ukraine’s claim that it has shot down Russian aircraft.
Putin said he was launching a “special military operation” in response to request for help by the breakaway Ukrainian region of Donbas.
He urged Ukrainian soldiers in the eastern region to lay down weapons and return to their homes. The Russian leader warned that Moscow’s response will be “instant” if anyone tries to take on Russia.
Ukraine’s Foreign minister Dmytro Kuleba accused Russia of starting a full-scale war.
Addressing the United Nations General Assembly on Wednesday, he urged member states to use all available means to protect Ukraine and deter Russia.
Ukraine’s President Volodymyr Zelensky declared martial law across the country.
Ukrainian state air traffic services closed the country’s airspace in the wake of the attack.
“These are among the darkest hours for Europe since the end of World War II,” EU High Representative Josep Borrell told reporters.
French President Emmanuel Macron called on Russia to immediately halt military operations in Ukraine.
NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg said the bloc stands with Ukraine at this terrible time, and will do all it takes to defend all allies.
Global stock markets opened sharply lower on Thursday.
Brent crude oil crossed $100 per barrel for the first time since 2014.
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