President Joe Biden provided the country with an update on Russia’s invasion of Ukraine on Thursday but was criticized for refusing to take any actions many experts deem necessary.
Biden said that Russian President Vladimir Putin acted “without justification,” and that the attack was “premeditated” and was planned for months.
He also said Russia had rejected “every good faith effort” made by the U.S. and its allies to address “mutual security concerns” through “dialogue,” which would have avoided “needless conflict” and “human suffering.”
The Daily Wire continues:
Biden gave a brief overview of the assault, including the shelling of Ukraine’s “historic cities,” cyber attacks, and “staged political theater” in Moscow made up of “outlandish and baseless claims” that Ukraine was the aggressor in pursuit of genocide.
The president argued that his administration had shared intel with allies so that there was no “confusion” regarding accountability, before confirming that Putin is the aggressor, and that Putin “chose this war.” Now he and his country will bear the consequences, Biden claimed.
Biden then announced additional sanctions, as well as limitations on what can be exported to Russia, which were “purposefully designed” to “maximize impact” on Russia while minimizing impact on Western allies.
These included limiting the ability of Russian groups and companies to do business in “dollars, pounds, euros and yen,” impairing Russia’s ability to compete in the “21st century economy.” Biden noted that the ruble hit its weakest level ever, and that the Russian stock market has plunged, before mentioning several large Russian banks targeted by sanctions, cutting off trillions of dollars worth of assets from the financial system.
“Every asset they have in America will be frozen,” Biden said, adding that Russian “elites” and their families would — as promised — face sanctions themselves, given that these are “people who personally gain from Kremlin’s policies,” and should therefore “share in the pain.”
Following his remarks, Biden then appeared to undercut his own strategy by saying that no one seriously expected sanctions to work.
Biden: "No one expected the sanctions to prevent anything from happening…Putin's not going to say 'oh, my god, the sanctions are coming.'"
Right after a speech announcing a new round of sanctions.
— John Cooper
He also did not answer questions from journalists about why he wasn’t levying sanctions on Putin himself.
Biden ignores question when asked why he won’t commit to sanctioning Putin:
— Conservative News
Biden also refused to comment on whether his administration is pressing China to sanction Russia.
REPORTER: "Are you urging China to help isolate Russia?"
BIDEN: "I'm not prepared to comment on that at the moment."
— Daily Wire