Russia responded to a slew of sanctions from the United States by imposing sanctions on President Joe Biden and other administration officials and allies, Bloomberg News reports.
Russia announced it would freeze any assets and block entry to the country to Biden, Secretary of State Antony Blinken, and Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin.
Others hit with sanctions include Joint Chiefs Chairman Mark Milley, National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan, CIA Director William Burns, White House press secretary Jen Psaki, and other economic officials.
The sanctions list also included Biden’s son Hunter and former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, even though they are not part of the administration and had no role in the U.S. response to Russia’s aggression in Ukraine.
Russia, meanwhile, has surpassed Iran as the world’s most sanctioned country and the U.S. and European allies are planning further crackdowns on the country’s economy and its billionaire oligarchs.
Ceasefire talks continue:
Ukrainian and Russian officials met for the second straight day on Tuesday to discuss a potential settlement, ceasefire to evacuate civilians, and possible Russian withdrawal. It is the fourth round of talks.
Russia has demanded Ukraine remain neutral and disarm while recognizing Crimea as part of Russia and the separatist regions of Luhansk and Donetsk as independent.
Zelensky said Tuesday that he understands that Ukraine will never join NATO, a major point of tension between the two sides.
But Russian President Vladimir Putin told European Council President Charles Michel on Tuesday that Ukraine “is not showing a serious attitude toward finding mutually acceptable solutions.”
Ukraine says Russia has resisted allowing evacuations in war-torn cities and has bombed evacuation routes.
European leaders head to Kyiv amid siege:
The prime ministers of Poland, Czech Republic, and Slovenia traveled to Kyiv by train on Tuesday to meet with Zelensky even as the city continues to be under Russian attack.
Two explosions rocked the city early Tuesday, with one killing at least two people at an apartment building.
"At such breakthrough times for the world, it is our duty to be where history is forged. Because it's not about us, but about the future of our children who deserve to live in a world free from tyranny," said Polish Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki.
"The purpose of the visit is to confirm the unequivocal support of the entire European Union for the sovereignty and independence of Ukraine," Czech Prime Minister Petr Fiala said. "The aim of this visit is also to present a broad package of support for Ukraine and Ukrainians."