Watch Live: Biden Addresses Russia-Ukraine Escalation, 'Significant' New Sanctions Expected


President Biden is expected to address the Russia-Ukraine crisis hours after Russia's parliament approved Putin's request to deploy troops abroad, and after earlier in the morning a White House national security official called Moscow's recognition of Donetsk and Luhansk independence "an invasion". Biden is scheduled to speak at 1:00pmET during which time 'significant' new sanctions against Russia are expected to be introduced

LIVE FEED (due to start at 1300ET... but don't hold your breath):

And less than an hour prior to the start of Biden's remarks where he's expected to announce implementation of a new sanctions package targeting Russia, Putin issued further security demands of the West, calling for "recognition of Crimea as part of Russia, halt to weapons shipments to Ukraine, end to Ukraine’s NATO bid," according to The Associated Press.

Putin also addressed reporters after the treaties with Donetsk and Luhansk were signed. Speaking of the breakaway pro-Russia republics, he said:

"We have recognized them, which means that we recognize their basic documents, including their constitutions. Those constitutions set the boundaries as those of the Donetsk and Lugansk regions from the time they were a part of Ukraine."

Putin also said the Minsk agreements were already effectively dead. "Yes, of course, now the Minsk agreements do not exist. So why should we implement them if we have recognised the independence of [the DPR and LPR]," Putin said to reporters.

NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg responded by telling allies at a briefing that Russia has gone “from covert attempts to destabilize Ukraine to overt military action."

“Moscow has now moved from covert attempts to destabilize Ukraine to overt military action. This is a serious escalation by Russia, and a flagrant violation of international law,” Stoltenberg said at a news conference in Brussels following a meeting of the NATO-Ukraine Commission.

Below is a summary by USA today on some of the latest:

  • President Joe Biden will talk at 1 p.m. from the East Room of the White House.
  • A US national security official called Putin's actions 'the beginning' of 'Russia's latest invasion' into Ukraine, adding that diplomacy is now more difficult.
  • The White House is expecting to lay out new sanctions on Tuesday in response to Putin's actions, following a ban on investment in Russian-backed separatist regions Donetsk and Luhansk.
  • Russian lawmakers have approved President Vladimir Putin's recognition of the independence of two eastern Ukraine provinces.
  • In a significant move, Germany will stop certification of the Russian-owned Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline. 
  • The UN Security Council met late Monday in an emergency session, with many members condemning the Kremlin's actions.

Also important is that the EU'S Josep Borrell confirmed that Putin is not currently on the EU sanctions list under preparation

It will be interesting to see his word choice which is to characterize the nature of how the White House views Russian actions - whether "invasion" or "incursion" - or something which stops short of both. Meanwhile, via news wires:

MILITARY CONVOY OF MORE THAN 100 TRUCKS WITH SOLDIERS SEEN ON ITS WAY TOWARDS UKRAINIAN BORDER IN RUSSIA'S BELGOROD REGION - WITNESS

This as Russian media has noted something that's perhaps ominous in the approval for troop deployment, related to the prospects of broader war:

The resolution did not impose any specific limits on the use of the military, with the number of troops, as well as “the areas of their activity, their goals, and length of stay outside Russia” to be decided by the president “in accordance with the Constitution.”

As Reuters' language suggest, now the term "further invasion" seems in favor... "If Russia further invades Ukraine, the Biden administration could deprive it of a vast swath of low- and high-tech U.S. and foreign-made goods, from commercial electronics and computers to semiconductors and aircraft parts, people familiar with the matter told Reuters."

Planet Today

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