The U.S. will issue sanctions against Russian President Vladimir Putin and his foreign minister Sergei Lavrov, White House press secretary Jen Psaki said Friday.
The announcement marks the third round of sanctions against Russia due to the invasion of Ukraine, though it is the first that will directly hit Putin. The announcement coincides with the European Union and the U.K. announcing direct sanctions against Putin, and will also hit members of the Russian National Security team. (RELATED: Biden Announces ‘First Tranche’ Of Sanctions Against Russia, Says The Invasion Has Begun)
“Following a telephone conversation President Biden held with European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen and in alignment with the decision by our European allies, the United States will join them in sanctioning President Putin and Foreign Minister Lavrov and members of the Russian National Security team. I expect we’ll have more specific details out later this afternoon,” the press secretary said.
Psaki said the option has “been on the table for some time” but noted the official decision came in the last “day or so.” The announcement follows the administration defending its last round of sanctions issued Thursday, which did not include directly sanctioning Putin.
When pressed repeatedly Thursday on why Putin had not been sanctioned, Biden declined to respond, only saying that “it’s on the table.”
The press secretary said she believes a travel ban will be a part of the U.S. sanctions but declined to get into specifics during the press briefing. She described the sanctions as sending “a message” to Putin and Russia on the strong opposition to the invasion.