‘World will hold Russia accountable’ over Ukraine attack: Biden

‘World will hold Russia accountable’ over Ukraine attack: Biden

United States president Joe Biden on Wednesday said the ‘world will hold Russia accountable’ over its attack against Ukraine that he warned will cause ‘catastrophic loss of life.’

In a statement issued shortly after Russian President Vladimir Putin announced the start of military operations in Ukraine, Biden said he would address the US public Thursday to outline the ‘consequences’ for Russia, calling the attack ‘unprovoked and unjustified.’

The US president was due to join a virtual, closed-doors meeting of G7 leaders -- Britain, Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan and the United States -- at 9:00 am (1400 GMT) Thursday. The White House said his remarks to the public would come in early afternoon in Washington.

On Tuesday, the US government joined European allies in imposing sanctions on two Russian banks, Moscow’s sovereign debt, several oligarchs and other measures.

On Wednesday, Biden announced he was imposing sanctions on the Nord Stream 2 natural gas pipeline from Russia to Germany -- one of energy-rich Moscow’s highest-profile energy and geopolitical projects. Germany had earlier announced it would block the project from proceeding.

US officials said that any escalation by Russia in Ukraine -- which has now occurred -- would be met with ever tougher sanctions that could target bigger banks, more oligarchs and a halt to exports of high-tech equipment.

‘The prayers of the entire world are with the people of Ukraine tonight as they suffer an unprovoked and unjustified attack by Russian military forces. President Putin has chosen a premeditated war that will bring a catastrophic loss of life and human suffering,’ Biden said.

‘Russia alone is responsible for the death and destruction this attack will bring, and the United States and its allies and partners will respond in a united and decisive way. The world will hold Russia accountable.’-AFP