Joe Biden in Situation Room Overnight, Faces Pressure to Act Against Russia

President Joe Biden is under pressure to act following Russian President Vladimir Putin's decision to order troops into two breakaway regions of Ukraine after Putin recognized them as independent states on Monday.

Biden reportedly spent much of Monday night in the Situation Room at the White House and has been consulting with allies as reports suggest Russia is readying itself for war.

The president issued an executive order on Monday imposing economic sanctions on the self-proclaimed Donetsk People's Republic (DNR) and Luhansk People's Republic (LNR) in eastern Ukraine, but the White House has left the door open to sanctions aimed directly at Russia.

White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki suggested in a statement on Monday that more sanctions could be forthcoming.

"To be clear: these measures are separate from and would be in addition to the swift and severe economic measures we have been preparing in coordination with allies and partners should Russia further invade Ukraine," Psaki said.

Biden is facing bipartisan pressure to take action over Russia's decision with both Republican and Democratic members of Congress expressing solidarity with Ukraine and calling on the president to respond.

Senator Lindsey Graham (R-SC) called Putin a "thug" on Monday after the Russian president recognized Donetsk and Luhansk as independent states and said "enough is enough."

Other Republicans expressed a similar sentiment. Representative Michael Guest of Mississippi's 3rd congressional district tweeted: "A Russian invasion of Ukraine must be met with severe and economically crippling sanctions from the US and our allies. The time for action is now."

Democrats also called on Biden to act, with Senator Cory Booker (D-CA) tweeting: "I condemn in the strongest possible terms Russia's blatant violation of Ukrainian sovereignty and call on President Putin to immediately withdraw all Russian troops. The United States and our allies must respond to this illegal action with coordinated and robust sanctions."

Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi was in the U.K. leading a congressional delegation to the British parliament on Monday. She tweeted that she had discussed the issue of Ukraine with Prime Minister Boris Johnson.

Pelosi has previously said sanctions on Russia "are going to be painful" if the country invades Ukraine.

The Biden administration had warned for weeks that the U.S. would impose severe sanctions on Russia in the event of an invasion, with Vice President Kamala Harris telling the Munich Security Conference on Saturday that Moscow would face "unprecedented economic costs."

White House officials said on Monday that a further response from the U.S. and its western allies would come on Tuesday and it is expected to include some sanctions.

It is not yet clear how extensive those sanctions might be and the U.S. may still hope to reach a diplomatic solution to the crisis.

U.K. and European Union (E.U.) leaders have pledged to impose sanctions on Russia following Putin's decision to recognize Ukraine's breakaway regions as independent, though it remains to be seen what form those sanctions will take.

European Council President Charles Michel and European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen said in a statement on Monday that Putin's action was "a blatant violation of international law."

"The Union will react with sanctions against those involved in this illegal act," the statement said.

U.K. Foreign Secretary Liz Truss announced on Monday that her government would impose sanctions on Russia on Tuesday and they were coordinating with the EU on the issue.

"Tomorrow we will be announcing new sanctions on Russia in response to their breach of international law and attack on Ukraine's sovereignty and territorial integrity," Truss tweeted.

U.K. Health Secretary Sajid Javid said on Tuesday morning that "the invasion of Ukraine has begun" but E.U. High Representative for Foreign Affairs Josep Borrell stopped short of describing the situation as an invasion.

"I cannot go into the details," Borrell said. "The Russian troops have entered into Donbas. We consider Donbas as part of Ukraine. I wouldn't say that is a fully fledged invasion but Russian troops are on Ukrainian soil."

Newsweek has asked the White House for comment.

Biden Listens to Chancellor Olaf Scholz
U.S. President Joe Biden listens as German Chancellor Olaf Scholz delivers remarks alongside during a joint news conference in the East Room of the White House on February 07, 2022 in Washington, DC. Biden is facing pressure over Russia's decision to recognize two breakaway regions in eastern Ukraine. Anna Moneymaker/Getty Images