On Tuesday night, Joe Biden announced that the US would ban Russian aircraft from its airspace and would pursue Russian oligarchs in retaliation for the invasion of Ukraine.
Biden stated that the moves would exacerbate Vladimir Putin’s isolation. “The Ruble has depreciated by 30%,” he stated. “Russia’s stock market has lost 40% of its value and trading has been halted. Russia’s economy is collapsing, and Putin is solely responsible.”
In April of last year, Joe Biden addressed a joint session of Congress.
State of the Union: Joe Biden vows to hold Putin accountable for the invasion of Ukraine
Biden stated that the US Department of Justice is forming a task force to investigate “the crimes of Russian oligarchs. We are collaborating with our European allies to locate and seize their yachts, luxury residences, and private jets. “We are on our way to reclaim their ill-gotten gains,” he stated.
The announcements are the latest in a series of sanctions against Russia and come on the heels of similar measures taken this week by Canada and the European Union.
Biden issued an ominous warning that Putin’s aggression would not be contained to Ukraine in the absence of consequences.
“Throughout history, we’ve learned that when dictators escape punishment for their aggression, they wreak havoc,” Biden said. “They continue to move. And the costs and dangers to America and the world continue to escalate.”
The EU and Canada announced on Sunday that they would close their airspace to Russian airlines and private planes owned by Russian billionaires.
Aeroflot, Russia’s largest airline, announced Monday that it would suspend flights to New York, Washington, Miami, and Los Angeles until Wednesday in response to Canada’s decision.
There are no US airlines that fly to Russia, though a few flights to India fly over Russian airspace. American Airlines’ lone flight between Delhi and New York takes a different route to avoid Russian airspace. FedEx and UPS both fly over Russia, though both companies announced this weekend that they would halt deliveries to the country.
European airlines fly much more frequently over Russia than their American counterparts. Prior to the war, Cirium estimates that approximately 600 flights to or from Europe passed through Russian airspace.
According to aviation experts, Russia earns a sizable sum of money from the fees it charges to use its airspace and land at its airports.
The ban would be added to a slew of sanctions imposed on Russia by the US, Europe, and other countries, all of which are expected to wreak havoc on the country’s economy, including cutting Russian banks off from the Swift international banking system, prohibiting the Russian central bank from deploying its international reserves, and freezing the assets of Putin associates.