For Immediate Release
Our Unity is Our Strength:
Putin Chose War. We Remain United with Ukraine.
U.S. Ambassador to the Kingdom of Bahrain Steven Bondy
This is a dangerous moment for Europe and for freedom-loving people around the world. President Vladimir Putin’s brutal assault on the people of Ukraine is an assault on the principles that underpin global peace and democracy. But the people of Ukraine are strong and resilient. They’ve had a democracy for decades, and their courage is inspiring the world. The United States, together with our allies and partners here in the Gulf and across the globe, will continue to support Ukrainians as they defend their country. By choosing to pay for war instead of investing in the needs of Russians, Putin’s invasion of Ukraine will be a strategic failure for the Kremlin and ravage the future of the Russian people. When the history of this era is written, it will show that Putin’s choice to launch an unprovoked, unjust, and premeditated attack resulted in the United States and its allies unifying and Russia becoming exponentially weaker.
United in Our Response
Together, the United States and our allies and partners are taking action to hold Russia accountable. As a result of unprecedented global sanctions coordination, the United States, the United Kingdom, the European Union, Japan, and Canada have removed certain Russian banks from the SWIFT messaging system and imposed restrictive measures on the Russian Central Bank. President Biden announced sweeping financial sanctions and stringent export controls that are damaging Russia’s economy, financial system, and access to cutting-edge technology. The ruble has hit its weakest point in history, and the Russian stock market has plunged. The architects of this war have also been sanctioned, including Putin himself.
In response to Putin’s war of choice, we will limit Russia’s ability to do business in dollars, stunt Russia’s ability to finance and expand its military, and impair its ability to compete in the global economy. And we are prepared to do even more. Unfortunately, the people of Russia are feeling the impact of the rash decisions of their leaders.
In addition to economic penalties, President Biden authorized an additional $350 million of security assistance to immediately help Ukraine defend itself, bringing America’s total security assistance to Ukraine over the past year to more than $1 billion. The United States has pledged nearly $54 million in humanitarian aid to the Ukrainian people since the invasion began, and deeply appreciates the Kingdom of Bahrain’s $1 million in humanitarian support as well as assistance from other GCC partners.
Russia is also paying a diplomatic price for its invasion. Bahrain and the United States, alongside partners from around the globe, joined in the United Nations General Assembly vote to censure Russia for invading Ukraine. We are very grateful for the support of Bahrain and all the other GCC countries in favor of the UN General Assembly resolution.
Beyond these steps, the United States has coordinated with major oil-producing and-consuming countries to underscore our common interest in securing global energy supplies. We are working with energy companies to surge their capacity to ensure markets are well supplied, particularly as prices increase.
Putin’s Unprovoked and Premeditated War
Vladimir Putin methodically moved more than 150,000 troops and military equipment to Ukraine’s border, rejecting every good-faith effort by the United States and our allies and partners to address his perceived security concerns and to avoid needless conflict and human suffering by engaging in diplomacy and dialogue. Then, in violation of international law, he launched his invasion.
International Unity and Resolve Stronger Than Ever
Putin has failed to divide us; indeed, he has brought us closer together. He failed to undermine our shared belief in the fundamental right of sovereign nations to choose their destiny and their allies. He will also fail to erase the proud nation of Ukraine. Ukraine’s people have known 30 years of independence and have repeatedly shown they will not tolerate anyone taking their country backwards. If Russian forces commit atrocities, we will explore all international mechanisms to bring those responsible – whether members of the military or their civilian leadership – to account.
Liberty, democracy, and human dignity are forces far more powerful than fear and oppression. In the contest between democracy and autocracy, between sovereignty and subjugation, make no mistake: Freedom will prevail.