U.S. imposes sanctions on Putin and other Russian leaders, Biden approves $350 million in military aid for Ukraine

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WASHINGTON  (Reuters) – The United States imposed sanctions on Russian President Vladimir Putin, Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov, Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu and Chief of General Staff Valery Gerasimov for Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, the Treasury Department said.

“We are united with our international allies and partners to ensure Russia pays a severe economic and diplomatic price for its further invasion of Ukraine,” Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen said in statement.

“If necessary, we are prepared to impose further costs on Russia for its appalling behaviour on the world stage,” she said.

The Treasury Department also will impose “full blocking sanctions” on state-owned Russian Direct Investment Fund, a White House spokesperson said in a tweet on Friday.

The fund is a financial entity functioning as a sovereign wealth fund and designed to attract capital into high-growth sectors.

President Joe Biden instructed the U.S. State Department to release $350 million in military aid to Ukraine on Friday as it struggles to repulse a Russian invasion.

In a memorandum to Secretary of State Antony Blinken, Biden directed that $350 million allocated through the Foreign Assistance Act be designated for Ukraine’s defense.

Photo – People demonstrate to show support for Ukraine and demand the withdrawal of Russia, outside the White House in Washington, DC, USA. The United States is using sanctions as part of a unified response to Russia’s invasion, which the White House has called an ‘unprovoked and unjustified attack on Ukraine’. EPA-EFE/MICHAEL REYNOLDS

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