President Joe Biden on Tuesday said the U.S. is sanctioning two Russian banks as well as the country’s sovereign debt, as he blamed Moscow for what he called the beginning of an invasion of Ukraine.
Biden called the sanctions the “first tranche” of such measures and said the U.S. “will continue to escalate sanctions if Russia escalates.”
U.S. stock indexes were lower Tuesday as investors were reacting to Russian President Vladimir Putin’s decision to order troops to breakaway regions of Ukraine.
Economists believe that a war between Russia and Ukraine would not be a major risk to the U.S. economy. Still, on Tuesday, oil futures
were up about 1.3%, stocks
fell in choppy trade and the yield on the 10-year Treasury
Biden spoke Tuesday after signing on Monday an executive order restricting American business in Ukraine’s breakaway regions, in response to Putin’s recognition of those areas.
Meanwhile, German Chancellor Olaf Scholz has suspended the certification process for the Nord Stream 2 natural-gas pipeline after Russia recognized separatist-held regions in eastern Ukraine.