WASHINGTON – The Biden administration is expected Friday to announce new economic sanctions on Russia in response to its disputed annexation of four regions of Ukraine, a White House official told NBC News.
Russian President Vladimir Putin earlier Friday announced, “There are four new regions of Russia,” referring to the Ukraine areas of Donetsk, Luhansk, Zaporizhzhia and Kherson.
Putin cited referendum votes by residents of those Russian-occupied areas, which he said approved becoming parts of Russia. Those votes are widely viewed by Western officials as rigged and illegitimate.
“The results are known, well known,” he said.
Earlier this week, the White House said the U.S. would never acknowledge the results of the “sham referendum” and would continue providing Ukraine with military and humanitarian support.
On Wednesday, the Biden administration announced $1.1 billion in additional security assistance for Ukraine.
The upcoming aid package, the 22nd such installment, brings U.S. commitment to more than $16.2 billion since Russia’s invasion in late February.