AS IT HAPPENED
Issued on: 22/02/2022 – 00:23Modified: 22/02/2022 – 12:35
A Ukrainian serviceman walks along a trench at a position on the front line with Russia-backed separatists near the settlement of Troitske in the Lugansk region on February 22, 2022. © Anataolii Stepanov, AFP
Western powers announced tough new sanctions on Russia Tuesday after Russian President Vladimir Putin recognised the independence of two self-proclaimed republics in east Ukraine and planned to send troops to the region. The US and the EU have both separately laid out plans for sanctions against Russia, targeting the country’s financial services, businesses and wealthy elites. Read about the day’s events as they unfolded on our liveblog below.
President Vladimir Putin on Monday told Russia’s defence ministry to deploy what he calls peacekeeping forces into two breakaway regions of Ukraine, defying Western warnings that such a step would be illegal and wreck peace negotiations. Western powers hit back on Tuesday. President Joe Biden said the United States was imposing a first tranche of sanctions against Russia for “the beginning of a Russian invasion of Ukraine” and promised that more would come if Moscow moves further into the country. US sanctions will hit two large Russian financial institutions and Russian sovereign debt. On Wednesday, sanctions will also begin against Russian elites and their family members. The European Union has also imposed new sanctions on Russia that will “hurt a lot”. The sanctions blacklist more politicians, lawmakers and officials, ban EU investors from trading in Russian state bonds and target imports and exports with separatist entities. They will not affect Vladimir Putin, however. Germany has halted the Nord Stream 2 Baltic Sea gas pipeline project, designed to double the flow of Russian gas direct to Germany. Earlier on Tuesday, Russia’s parliament had approved treaties with the two regions and unanimously approved the Russian leader’s request to use troops abroad. In a press conference, Vladimir Putin said that the Minsk peace deal with Ukraine “does not exist” and called for Ukraine to be entirely “demilitarised”.
(FRANCE 24 with REUTERS, AP, AFP)