US President Joe Biden has announced a new sanctions package against Russia, calling Moscow’s recognition of two breakaway regions in eastern Ukraine as independent the “beginning of a Russian invasion” of its neighbour. The sanctions target Russia’s sovereign debt as well as two large Russian financial institutions, including the country’s military bank, Biden said, insisting that “If Russia goes further with this invasion, [they] stand prepared to go further with sanctions”. Al Jazeera reports though that Biden did also insist that the door remains open for diplomacy.