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Published: 09:17, February 26, 2022 | Updated: 12:48, February 26, 2022
US sanctions Putin, Lavrov over Ukraine
By Xinhua
Published:09:17, February 26, 2022 Updated:12:48, February 26, 2022 By Xinhua

This combo photo shows Russian President Vladimir Putin (left) and US President Joe Biden. (PHOTO/XINHUA)

WASHINGTON / MOSCOW - The administration of US President Joe Biden will sanction Russian President Vladimir Putin and Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov over Moscow's ongoing military operation in Ukraine, the White House confirmed Friday.

"In alignment with the decision by our European allies, the United States will join them in sanctioning President Putin and Foreign Minister Lavrov and members of the Russian national security team," White House press secretary Jen Psaki told a regular news briefing on Friday, adding more specifics will be announced later in the day.

In alignment with the decision by our European allies, the United States will join them in sanctioning President Putin and Foreign Minister Lavrov and members of the Russian national security team.

 Jen Psaki, White House press secretary

The US move followed that of the European Union and Britain, which announced sanctions targeting the top Russian leadership earlier on Friday.

READ MORE: Russian forces blockade Kyiv from west

Biden on Thursday announced additional US sanctions against Russia targeting the country's major financial institutions and an additional number of Russian individuals and their family members with ties to the Kremlin, on top of the so-called "first tranche" of sanctions imposed on Russian state-owned banks, the Russian sovereign debt market as well as individual elites.

Asked about the possibility of his Russian counterpart, Biden didn't commit to that on Thursday, only saying it remained an option on the table.

Psaki said Friday the reason Biden waited until after the EU and Britain announced their sanctions against the Russian president to decide on his own move is that his "strong principle ... has been to take actions and steps in alignment with our European partners."

ALSO READ: Biden hits Russia with sanctions, puts more troops in Europe

Also on Friday, a senior administration official said future US sanctions will not target Russian oil and gas industry.

"The sanctions will not target the oil flows as we go forward," Amos Hochstein, the State Department's senior energy security adviser, said in an interview on Bloomberg Television.

Hochstein said doing so won't necessarily reduce Russia's oil and gas revenue, and may instead lead to a scenario where "the United States and our allies would suffer the consequences." 

Sanctions 'not painful'

In response, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said on Friday that the British sanctions on Putin and Lavrov were not painful for top Russian officials.

The head of state used to keep money in the Rossiya Bank, which had already been sanctioned, said Peskov, adding that the updated sanctions were not painful for any representative of Russia's top leadership.

Photo taken on Sept 14, 2020 shows the outside view of the United Nations headquarters in New York, the United States. (WANG YING / XINHUA)

UN draft resolution vetoed

The UN Security Council on Friday failed to adopt a draft resolution on Ukraine.

The draft resolution, proposed by the United States and Albania, was rejected because it was vetoed by permanent member Russia.

Any negative vote, known as veto, from the council's five permanent members means a failed resolution. 

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