House Speaker Nancy Pelosi on Wednesday commended President Biden‘s move to impose sanctions on Russia over the unfolding invasion of Ukraine.
The California Democrat said the start of sanctions was the “appropriate” response to what Mr. Biden has described as the start of a Ukrainian invasion by Russia.
“The steps that the president is taking are appropriate,” Mrs. Pelosi told reporters. “The Europeans feel the pain a lot more than we do of sanctions. It is not without any collateral impact in their countries.”
Mrs. Pelosi also called Vladimir Putin a tyrant and accused the Russian president of meddling in U.S. elections in 2016.
“It’s stunning to see, in this day and age, a tyrant roll into a country,” Mrs. Pelosi said. “This is the same tyrant who attacked our democracy in 2016. This is the same tyrant who is opposed to democracy and wants to minimize, trivialize, and downgrade it in the eyes of the Russian people.”
Mr. Biden announced the U.S. will impose its first round of sanctions against Russia and will double down on more if there are more incursions on Ukraine.
The first tranche of sanctions will be imposed against two major Russian financial institutions and the nation’s sovereign debt, as well as Russian elites and their family members.
The response follows Mr. Putin’s orders to Russia’s defense ministry to deploy peacekeeping forces into two separatist regions of Ukraine after recognizing their independence.
Mr. Biden characterized the move as a step toward imminent war.
“This is the beginning of a Russian invasion of Ukraine,” Mr. Biden said. “Russia has now undeniably moved against Ukraine by declaring these independent states.”