White House warns US sanctions will ‘hit’ Putin’s own business interests if Russia further invades Ukraine
The United States will introduce a package of sanctions impacting the personal business and economic interests of Russian President Vladimir Putin and the leadership of the Russian government if Russia further invades Ukraine, White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki said at a press briefing on Jan. 26.
She stressed that “any sanctions package would be far beyond what was done in 2014.”
“I would also note that, while it has been our policy that we are not going to take options off the table from here – and we haven’t – we also haven’t been detailed what isn’t in an initial package. And that doesn’t mean that everything out there that’s being talked about is in an initial package.”
The initial package refers to a bill, unveiled by U.S. Senate Democrats on Jan. 12, that would impose sweeping sanctions on top Russian government and military officials, including President Putin, as well as key Russian banks, if Moscow escalates hostilities against Ukraine.
Republican Senator Marco Rubio has also introduced personal sanctions against Russian leadership with the Deterring Authoritarian Hostilities Act of 2022, a bill meant to impose immediate and harsh personal sanctions on Putin and his inner circle if Russian troops further invade Ukraine.
Russia has been massing troops at the Russian-Ukrainian border since late October.
More than 127,000 Russian troops and offensive weapons have been deployed near Ukrainian borders and in the temporarily occupied territories, according to the latest intelligence estimate from the Ministry of Defense of Ukraine provided to CNN this week.
International media have speculated that Russia may invade Ukraine in early 2022, in an operation that could involve up to 175,000 Russian soldiers.
While Russia has denied plans to invade, it has also refused to provide assurances that it would not do so, instead demanding that it be provided with “security guarantees” by the United States and NATO.
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