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US sanctions Russia after Putin annexes parts of Ukraine

Sept. 30, 2022 Updated Fri., Sept. 30, 2022 at 11:31 a.m.

The Moscow-appointed heads of Kherson region Vladimir Saldo and Zaporizhzhia region Yevgeny Balitsky, Russian President Vladimir Putin, Donetsk separatist leader Denis Pushilin and Lugansk separatist leader Leonid Pasechnik react after signing treaties formally annexing four regions of Ukraine Russian troops occupy, at the Kremlin in Moscow on September 30, 2022.   (MIKHAIL METZEL/Getty Images North America/TNS)
The Moscow-appointed heads of Kherson region Vladimir Saldo and Zaporizhzhia region Yevgeny Balitsky, Russian President Vladimir Putin, Donetsk separatist leader Denis Pushilin and Lugansk separatist leader Leonid Pasechnik react after signing treaties formally annexing four regions of Ukraine Russian troops occupy, at the Kremlin in Moscow on September 30, 2022.  (MIKHAIL METZEL/Getty Images North America/TNS)
By Eli Stokols Los Angeles Times

WASHINGTON — The United States and Group of 7 allies responded Friday to what they called Russia’s illegitimate annexation of Ukrainian territories, issuing a new round of sanctions and warning other nations that they will be similarly punished should they support the Kremlin’s latest move.

“Russia is violating international law, trampling on the United Nations charter, and showing its contempt for peaceful nations everywhere,” President Biden said in a statement condemning Russia’s actions. “Make no mistake: these actions have no legitimacy.”

Following Russian President Vladimir Putin’s speech from Moscow announcing the annexation, the Treasury Department sanctioned 14 international suppliers for supporting Russia’s military supply chains as well as 109 additional state Duma members and 169 members of the Federation Council of the Federal Assembly of the Russian Federation.

Biden, who vowed that the U.S. would continue to support Ukraine with defense aid, including a new $1.1 billion package announced earlier this week, urged “all members of the international community to reject Russia’s illegal attempts at annexation and to stand with the people of Ukraine for as long as it takes.”

Russia defended its move by claiming annexation had been supported by local referendums, but the international community dismissed them as sham votes.

Secretary of State Antony J. Blinken, in a statement, issued a clear warning, noting that the G-7 had agreed to impose sanctions on “any individual, entity, or country that provides political or economic support for Russia’s illegal attempts to change the status of Ukrainian territory.”

But seven months into a conflict that has seen the U.S. and Western allies impose severe economic consequences for Putin’s Feb. 24 invasion of Ukraine, Russia only looks to be digging in deeper, despite failing to conquer Kyiv in the war’s early days and, more recently, suffering losses in the still contested eastern region where Ukrainian forces have retaken land Russia had controlled for a time.

Putin, in his 37-minute speech Friday announcing that the four Ukrainian regions would become part of Russia, accused the U.S. of “satanism” and “neocolonial hegemony.” He framed the battle as an existential war with the West, going as far as to justify his possible use of nuclear weapons by noting that the U.S. was the first country to deploy them at the end of World War II.

“They created a precedent,” Putin said, after blasting the U.S. as “hypocritical.”

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