Washington: Addressing a concerned nation and anxious world, President Joe Biden vowed in his first State of the Union address Tuesday night to check Russian aggression in Ukraine, tame soaring U.S. inflation at home and deal with the fading but still dangerous coronavirus. Joe Biden announced that he has prohibited Russian flights from US skies.
“Tonight, I am announcing that we will join our allies in closing off American air space to all Russian flights – further isolating Russia – and adding an additional squeeze – on their economy. The Ruble has lost 30 per cent of its value,” Biden told lawmakers in his maiden State of the Union Address on Tuesday.
He said the Russian stock market has lost 40 per cent of its value and trading remains suspended. Russia’s economy is reeling and President Vladimir Putin alone is to blame, he said.
“Together with our allies we are right now enforcing powerful economic sanctions. We are cutting off Russia’s largest banks from the international financial system. Preventing Russia’s central bank from defending the Russian Ruble making Putin’s $630 Billion “war fund” worthless,” he said.
“We are choking off Russia’s access to technology that will sap its economic strength and weaken its military for years to come. Tonight I say to the Russian oligarchs and corrupt leaders who have bilked billions of dollars off this violent regime no more,” he said.
He asked the lawmakers crowding the House chamber to stand and salute the Ukrainians as he began his speech. They stood and cheered.
Biden, in remarks before Congress, highlighted the bravery of Ukrainian defenders and the resolve of a newly reinvigorated Western alliance that has worked to rearm the Ukrainian military and cripple Russia’s economy through sanctions. He warned of costs to the American economy, as well, but warned ominously that without consequences, Russian President Vladimir Putin’s aggression wouldn’t be contained to Ukraine.