The step taken is apparently drastic, though Biden is simply following EU leaders who sanctioned Putin earlier this week.
Boris Johnson and the United Kingdom have also recently discussed sanctioning the Russian junta chief.
Several national leaders have condemned Putin after Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy blamed “the world’s most powerful forces” for “watching from afar.”
Soon after Biden met with Zelensky, the Ukrainian said that an anti-Russian coalition is forming.
Strengthening sanctions, concrete defense assistance and an anti-war coalition have just been discussed with @POTUS. Grateful to 🇺🇸 for the strong support to 🇺🇦!
— Володимир Зеленський (@ZelenskyyUa) February 25, 2022
“Strengthening sanctions, concrete defense assistance and an anti-war coalition have just been discussed with @POTUS.” the tweet said. “Grateful to [US] for the strong support to [Ukraine]!”
Of course, these very things are what the Russians warned other nations against doing.
In January, Russian leaders warned that they would break ties with the United States if Putin was sanctioned.
“The imposition of sanctions against the head of state and against the head of Russia, I repeat once again, is an outrageous measure that is comparable to a break in relations,” Kremlin spokesperson Dmitry Peskov said.
Yet Washington elites, secure in their access to consumer goods and financially comfortable, feel that escalating the situation is the right thing to do.
“If Russia engaged in a conventional invasion of Ukraine, it shatters post World War II norms,” Sen. Chris Murphy, a Democrat on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, said last month.
“This would be virtually unprecedented in the post-World War II world,” Murphy said. “And it needs to be treated as a serious, significant, and world-shattering breach of international norms.”