The U.K. has slapped targeted economic sanctions against five Russian banks and three wealthy individuals following President Vladimir Putin’s decision to send troops into eastern Ukraine.
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In a vaguely worded decree on Monday, Putin formally recognized Luhansk and Donetsk as independent states and sent troops to the breakaway areas to “perform peacekeeping functions.”
The directive drew condemnation from around the world, with policymakers admonishing a “blatant” and “unacceptable” violation of international law.
The developing situation has ratcheted up fears of a major conflict in Europe following months of simmering tensions over Russia’s military deployment on the borders of Ukraine.