Expert believes odds ‘high’ for US new sanctions against Russia if it invades Ukraine

14 January 2022, 06:18 PM

The chances are high that a recent bill unveiled by United States Senate Democrats on Jan. 12 to impose sweeping sanctions on top Russian government and military officials, including President Vladimir Putin, if Moscow escalates hostilities against Ukraine, will be adopted, Oleksiy Yizhak, an expert from the National Institute for Strategic Studies, told the Radio NV radio station Jan. 13.

“This time (the bill) is more like a real law since the patience of many countries is already running out over Russia’s constant escalations,” he said.

“Now the odds are higher,” Yizhak continued. “… To resolve the issue in the long term, so that there is no need to decide something every three months.”

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“But, of course, there is an element – ‘in case of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine’. Earlier they used to say ‘in the event of a large-scale invasion’, but now they just say ‘in the event of an invasion’,” the expert added.

Yizhak added the exact size of Putin’s assets is unknown, but it is definitely hundreds of billions of dollars, saying that some estimates place Putin as the richest man in the world.

“And he has, let’s say, half a trillion dollars. … But there is another estimate – a trillion dollars. These are assets withdrawn from Russia and somehow hidden in the United States and European countries.”

The officials, other than Putin himself, specified in the document released on Jan. 12 include Russian Prime Minister Mikhail Mishustin, Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov, Defense Minister Sergey Shoigu, as well as commanders of various army units and other persons whom U.S. President Joe Biden’s administration considers to be involved in the aggression against Ukraine.

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