Ukraine-Russia War: Live updates on Zelenskyy, Kiev and Putin

WASHINGTON — The United States and Europe on Friday personally punished Russian President Vladimir V. Putin for his invasion of Ukraine, imposing sanctions aimed at freezing his assets while continuing to seek to expand his military and economic capabilities with other new ones to paralyze restrictions.

White House officials said President Biden intends to impose sanctions and freeze Mr Putin’s assets along with Sergei Lavrov, his secretary of state. Other Russian national security officials will also be subject to the sanctions, and the United States plans to impose a travel ban to limit the movement of Russian leaders.

The decisions bring the United States in line with its European allies, whose governments took similar steps earlier in the day.

“The Treasury Department continues to impose costs on the Russian Federation and President Putin for their brutal and unprovoked attacks on the people of Ukraine,” Treasury Secretary Janet L. Yellen said in a statement announcing the sanctions.

European leaders met into the early hours of Friday to negotiate an agreement on a new set of sanctions aimed more broadly at Russia’s economy and at Mr Putin himself while his troops continued their invasion of Ukraine advanced.

One of the decisions was to freeze Mr Putin and Mr Lavrov’s assets but not impose a travel ban on them, according to three European Union diplomats and officials familiar with draft EU sanctions.

The new American and European sanctions are a provocative move considering how rarely governments, including the United States, target foreign leaders. They could prove largely symbolic, however, as the status of Mr Putin’s financial holdings is shrouded in secrecy and his money is not believed to be held in the United States.

Jen Psaki, the White House press secretary, said that directly imposing sanctions on Mr Putin “sends a clear message about the strength of opposition to President Putin’s actions and the direction in his leadership of the Russian military.”

Speaking to reporters on Friday, Ms Psaki said the decision had been taken in the last 24 hours after consulting European leaders. She declined to comment on what impact she thinks the sanctions would have on Mr Putin. But she stressed that they were a demonstration of transatlantic unity against his actions.

While the United States has imposed sanctions and frozen assets on some Russian oligarchs, attacking Putin directly was a major escalation. This puts him in similar company with Presidents Bashar al-Assad of Syria and Aleksandr G. Lukashenko of Belarus, both of whom have been personally sanctioned by the US government.

Adam M. Smith, a former Treasury Department official who is now a partner at law firm Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher, said imposing sanctions on Mr Putin is an important message because the United States has never taken similar action against one would have powerful leaders. However, he said the sanctions are unlikely to affect Putin’s fortunes or change his calculus in Ukraine.

“I don’t think Putin will really lose much sleep if he’s sanctioned,” Mr Smith said.

The personal sanctions add to the growing list of restrictions that the Biden administration has rolled out in coordination with Europe. The United States imposed sanctions on major Russian financial institutions and the country’s sovereign debt, and on Thursday took steps to prevent Russia from gaining access to American technology critical to its military, aerospace industry and broader economy is.

But the attempt to punish Mr Putin has exposed the extent to which many European countries depend on Russia for energy, grain and other products. It was difficult to reach a consensus on a package of penalties that European leaders described as unprecedented in terms of size and scope, even as Russian forces closed in on the Ukrainian capital of Kyiv.

European economies are closely intertwined with Russia’s economy, and the more the European Union leans on Russian sanctions, the more its own members will feel the pain too. The toughest sanctions could derail even the bloc’s tentative recovery from the recession caused by the coronavirus pandemic.

Because of this, the negotiators left off the table particularly difficult elements, such as imposing sanctions on oil and gas companies or banning Russia from SWIFT, the platform used to conduct global financial transactions in commodities, including wheat. EU officials said a key reason for their reluctance to block Russia’s access to the platform is that Europe uses it to pay for the gas it buys from Russia.

Experts said the sanctions approved are tough and the speed at which the European Union is moving is impressive. But some criticized the leaders for not going further.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy was scathing in a statement posted to Facebook on Friday.

“This morning we are alone in defending our state,” he said. “Like yesterday, the world’s most powerful powers are watching from afar. Have yesterday’s sanctions convinced Russia? We hear in our heaven and see on our earth that this was not enough.”

Ursula von der Leyen, the European Commission President who did the painstaking technical work behind the sanctions, said on Friday the penalties would hamper the ability of Russia’s economy to function by starving vital technology and access to finance.

Its most ambitious elements were also its most technical: the European Union will ban the export of aircraft and spare parts necessary to maintain Russian fleets. Ms von der Leyen said that three quarters of the planes in Russia’s aviation fleet were made in the European Union, the United States or Canada and that the new restrictions effectively meant many planes would soon be grounded.

The bloc will also ban exports of specialized oil refining technology, as well as semiconductors, and fine more banks – although it won’t stop targeting VTB, Russia’s second-largest bank, which has already been hit by US and British sanctions, according to a draft, describing the penalties seen by the New York Times.

And the European Union will target the Russian elite by banning diplomatic and service passport holders from access to EU visas and restricting the ability of Russian nationals to deposit more than 100,000 euros (about $113,000) into European bank accounts to do.

The way Europe’s sanctions against Russia are unfolding shows that some EU countries, including Germany and Italy, favor a phased approach to punishing Mr Putin, in part to protect a fragile post-pandemic economic recovery in Europe.

On the other side are the neighboring countries of Russia and Ukraine, such as Poland, Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania, as well as the Nordic members of the European Union and the Netherlands. They would prefer not to break the sanctions into smaller packages, but instead hit Mr Putin with overwhelming economic measures that really hurt.

Ms Psaki said the Biden administration continues to consider additional options, such as sanctions, that would target Russia’s energy sector. However, the White House is aware that an increase in oil prices could help Mr. Putin while gasoline prices are rising in the United States.

“Our sanctions are intended to hurt the Russian economy,” Ms Psaki said, “not our economy.”

Alan Rapport and KatieRogers reported from Washington, and Matina Stevis-Gridneff from Brussels.

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