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Biden slaps Russia with tough sanctions for ‘targeted attack’ on Ukraine

As a full-scale Russian invasion of Ukraine was Critical infrastructure was devastated domestic and coercive Ukrainian citizens flee for their livesPresident Joe Biden has announced the toughest sanctions yet on Russia and its leaders – with a warning that further escalation of the war will lead to “severe” economic costs.

“We will limit our ability to do business in dollars, euros, pounds and Russian yen, to be part of the global economy… We will block the ability to finance and develop Russian military development,” Biden said in remarks from the East Room of the White House on Thursday afternoon. “We will reduce their competitiveness in the high-tech economy of the 21st century. We have already seen the impact of our actions on the Russian currency, the ruble, which earlier in the day today hit the weakest level ever in history”.

For weeks, Biden has claimed that an attempt to occupy Ukraine would cause “rapid and severe” damage to Russian officials and financial institutions. The First round of economic sanctions against the Kremlin, announced in response to Russia’s recognition of the “independence” of two breakaway regions in southeastern Ukraine, targeting Russia’s ability to operate in Western financial markets, as well as some Russia’s richest and most powerful tycoon.

Sanctions — announced in tandem with similar measures by the Group of Seven (G7) and the European Union, including bans on Russian airline Aeroflot from the UK to the decision of Germany’s suspension of the Nord Stream 2 natural gas pipeline, presumably permanently – has been designed to “maximize the long-term impact on Russia,” Biden said.

In a statement ahead of his speech on Thursday, Biden said that the G7 was united in its determination to stop Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. “We agree to move forward with devastating sanctions and other economic measures to hold Russia accountable,” Biden said in that statement.

Biden’s latest package of sanctions includes cutting off Russia’s four biggest banks from Western financial markets, freezing the assets of many similar institutions and Russia’s wealthiest oligarchs abroad. , and stopped exporting certain technologies to Russia from the West.

“The threat of sanctions and the imposition of sanctions and seeing the effects of sanctions are two different things,” Biden said at one point, asking why sanctions were not being implemented. done earlier. “It will weaken his country so much that he will have to make a very, very difficult choice about whether to continue moving towards becoming a second-rate power.”

But the announcement was almost as noticeable for terms it didn’t include as those it did. Biden did not announce that Russia would be barred from participating in the SWIFT messaging system, which would cut it off from most international financial transactions, and Biden also did not release any new information about market immunity. for millions of Ukrainians who could potentially become refugees. in the midst of the occupation.

And while Biden has announced new sanctions and asset freezes for “Russian elites and their family members,” one elite individual is safe for the moment: Putin himself. . The Russian President is said to have hoarded a huge personal wealth through obscure stakes in Russian oil and natural gas corporations in the decades since he first took power, estimated at tens or even hundreds of billions of dollars. On the Black Sea, not far from Ukrainian territory annexed by Russia in 2014, Putin is said to be building a billion dollar palacecomplete with golden eagles and state security guarding the grounds.

While Biden did not question who would be responsible for the punishment Russia would incur, calling him an “aggressor” who “chosen this war,” he did not respond to questions about why. Why don’t you punish Putin himself.

The announcement of these measures sent the Russian ruble into a free fall and the price of oil escalated. But harsh sanctions still may not be enough to satisfy some of Biden’s critics in Congress, who have criticize the president’s resistance to implement sanctions against a potential invasion of Ukraine, as the president of that country has been asking for for months.

“President Biden’s coy sanctions tonight are completely out of proportion to this moment,” Senator Tom Cotton of Arkansas said Monday. “Now Russia is invading Ukraine.”

At the time, the White House indicated that Tuesday’s sanctions were only the beginning of the measures that would be taken if Russia escalates its invasion of Ukraine. In a press conference with reporters, Deputy National Security Adviser Daleep Singh called the first round of sanctions “just the edge of the pain we can inflict”.

Singh added: “No Russian financial institution is safe if an invasion takes place.

Biden was careful to admit in his remarks that economic sanctions against Russia could cost Americans part of the cost. Gasoline prices, which are already high, are likely to soar along with higher oil prices, and the major stock indexes across the board are all lower.

“I know this is hard and Americans have been hurt,” Biden said. “I will do everything in my power to ease the pain the American people are going through when getting gas pumped. This is very important to me.”

Still, Biden said, Putin’s aggression against a sovereign neighbor in the hope of “rebuilding the Soviet Union” is too important to ignore.

“America stands up against bullies, and we stand up for freedom,” Biden said. “This is who we are.”

https://www.thedailybeast.com/biden-slaps-russia-with-stiff-sanctions-for-premeditated-attack-on-ukraine?source=articles&via=rss Biden slaps Russia with tough sanctions for ‘targeted attack’ on Ukraine

Russell Falcon

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