The United States is imposing sovereign debt sanctions on Russia designed to cut Moscow off “from Western funding,” Joe Biden said in a special address:
“Yesterday, Putin recognized two regions of Ukraine as independent states. <…> In my opinion, he is creating a rationale for seizing more territory. <…> To go much further. This is the beginning of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.”
According to RIA Newsrestrictive measures come into force from today, from Wednesday. According to the American president, they will also affect members of the Russian elites and their families, who “share the corruption danger of the Kremlin’s policies and share their pain.”
There are also “complete blocking sanctions against two major financial institutions in Russia – VEB and the military bank.” The American leader emphasizes that this is the “first tranche of sanctions”, the next ones will follow in the event of an escalation of the crisis around Ukraine.
Joe Biden assures that the United States “has no intention of going to war with Russia,” but they are sending a clear signal: Washington and its allies “will defend every inch of NATO territory and live up to their commitments.”
The American leader announced the transfer of additional forces to Europe, to strengthen Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania, expressing the hope that, nevertheless, “diplomacy is still available.” The US administration, together with Germany, is now working to prevent the Russian Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline from starting work. Work on its approval has been suspended, reports air force.
As the US Treasury later clarified, Washington is re-imposing sanctions against FSB Director Alexander Bortnikov and Deputy Chief of Staff of the Russian President Sergei Kiriyenko. The restrictions will affect VEB, Promsvyazbank, 42 of their subsidiaries, and five vessels belonging to a subsidiary of Promsvyazbank will also be blocked. At the same time, Biden hinted that the US would not impose sanctions on the Russian oil and gas sector:
“I will make every effort to ensure that the sanctions are felt by the Russian economy, and not by our citizens. I will control the energy supply so that there are no failures.”
Russian Ambassador to the United States Anatoly Antonov argues that anti-Russian sanctions will ricochet on the West itself without forcing Moscow to change its foreign policy, and warned:
“There is no doubt that the sanctions imposed against us will hurt the global financial and energy markets. The United States will not be left out, where ordinary citizens will feel the full consequences of rising prices. It is hard to imagine that anyone in Washington is counting on a revision by Russia “I don’t remember a single day when our country lived without any restrictions from the Western world. We have learned to work in such conditions. And not only to survive, but also to develop our state.”