Happy Wednesday! On this day 105 years ago, the House of Representatives voted 373-50 in favor of declaring war against Germany, formally entering the United States into what was then called the Great War. It’s also the anniversary of the Battle of Shiloh, the start of the Black Hawk War, and Germany’s World War II invasion of Yugoslavia and Greece. Not a very peaceful day.
Quick Hits: Today’s Top Stories
In response to the atrocities in Bucha, Ukraine, European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen on Tuesday outlined a fifth package of sanctions targeting Russia. If approved by the 27-member bloc, the European Union will ban imports of Russian coal (but not gas), levy additional sanctions on four large Russian banks, block Russian and Russian-operated vessels from accessing European ports (exempting ships carrying food and energy), implement controls on quantum computing exports to Russia, and more. Separately, the EU is reportedly also weighing sanctions on two of Vladimir Putin’s daughters.
The U.S. Treasury Department announced Tuesday that, as of this week, it will no longer allow the Russian government to make any dollar debt payments at U.S. financial institutions. “Russia must choose between draining remaining valuable dollar reserves or new revenue coming in, or default,” a Treasury official said. The Biden administration is expected to announce an additional round of Russian sanctions in response to the Bucha revelations later today.
Czech defense officials told the Wall Street Journal the Czech Republic has sent more than a dozen modernized T-72M tanks to Ukraine in recent weeks, and, along with Slovakia, is considering opening its military industrial installations to repair damaged Ukrainian equipment. No other country has sent tanks to Ukraine since Russia’s invasion began in late February.