President Joe Biden condemned Russia’s “unprovoked and unjustified” invasion into Ukraine in a statement on Wednesday night (Feb. 23). Explosions were reported in several Ukrainian cities on Thursday (Feb. 24) leaving at least 40 people dead and the U.S. and its allies are planning to enact tough sanctions in response.

“The prayers of the world are with the people of Ukraine tonight as they suffer an unprovoked and unjustified attack by Russian military forces,” Biden said in the statement. “[Russian] President [Vladimir] Putin has chosen a premeditated war that will bring a catastrophic loss of life and human suffering.”

“Russia alone is responsible for the death and destruction this attack will bring and the United States and its Allies and partners will respond in a united and decisive way,” he added. “The world will hold Russia accountable.”

According to CNN, Biden also spoke by phone with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky. The POTUS reportedly briefed Zelensky “on the steps we are taking to rally international condemnation, including tonight at the United Nations Security Council.”

“He asked me to call on the leaders of the world to speak out clearly against President Putin’s flagrant aggression and to stand with the people of Ukraine,” Biden said in the statement.

Today, Biden is expected to meet with his G7 counterparts and “announce the further consequences the United States and our Allies and partners will impose on Russia for this needless act of aggression against Ukraine and global peace and security.”

The U.S. will also coordinate with NATO Allies to ensure a strong, unified response in the face of “any aggression against the Alliance,” Biden said.

“Tonight, Jill and I are praying for the brave and proud people of Ukraine,” he added.

According to CNN, the U.S. is planning to target Russia’s two largest banks and financial firms and will cut off the country’s access to necessary Western technology. Putin’s inner circle and their families are also expected to be targeted. Read Biden’s full statement below.