Biden Announces New Sanctions Against Russia, Aid to Ukraine

By Nick Ciolino
Nick Ciolino
Nick Ciolino
Nick Ciolino covers the White House.
March 24, 2022 Updated: March 24, 2022

U.S. President Joe Biden has announced new economic sanctions against Russia along with the latest aid package for Ukraine amid the ongoing war between the two countries.

The United States is again adding to its list of Russian targets, to include 400 new individuals and entities receiving “full blocking” sanctions. This latest tranche includes 48 state-owned defense companies, more than 300 members of the Russian legislature, and board members and heads of Russian financial institutions, the White House said in a March 24 statement.

Alongside Biden’s announcement, the Group of Seven (G-7) countries and the European Union announced an initiative meant to prevent Russia from evading the sanctions already put in place against the country. This effort includes engaging with other governments on adopting sanctions similar to those already imposed by the G-7 and other partners, according to the White House.

The G-7 and EU also vowed to block transactions involving gold related to the Central Bank of the Russian Federation, saying that’s already covered by existing sanctions.

The Biden administration also announced that it’s prepared to provide an additional $1 billion in humanitarian aid to the Ukrainians and those who have fled the country, as well as $320 million meant to “support societal resilience and defend human rights in Ukraine and neighboring countries.”

The United States also announced plans to take in up to 100,000 Ukrainian refugees “through the full range of legal pathways, including the U.S. Refugee Admissions Program.”

The announcements came out of an emergency NATO summit Biden attended in Brussels on March 24, the one-month anniversary of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

The international security alliance announced the establishment of four new battle groups in Slovakia, Romania, Bulgaria, and Hungary, with promises of additional forces and capabilities before the NATO summit in June.

“Our joint statement today makes clear that NATO is as strong and united as it has ever been,” Biden said in a statement.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy took part in the meeting via video link. Zelenskyy repeated requests for continued and increased Western security assistance, but, notably, there wasn’t a request for a no-fly zone. There also wasn’t a request for NATO membership in his remarks, according to a senior administration official.

The announcements come as fighting continues in major Ukrainian cities and a day after Russian President Vladimir Putin said he wants “unfriendly” countries to start paying for Russian energy with rubles—a move that could force European countries that rely on Russian energy products to help revive the weakened currency.

Officials say multiple speakers at the NATO meeting also made calls for China to not aid Russia in its war with Ukraine and for China to live up to its role as a U.N. Security Council member.

Nick Ciolino
Nick Ciolino covers the White House.