Possible US Sanctions On Russia Would Be Economic Blows

Biden asks Putin to reduce tensions with Ukraine 5:17

(CNN) – The United States is poised to impose a series of tough economic sanctions on Russia should it invade Ukraine, starting with high-impact targets that would impose “severe and overwhelming costs on Russia’s economy,” officials told CNN. of Joe Biden’s government.

The sanctions could have a major impact on Russian consumers, industrial operations and employment, the sources said, and in some cases would put Russia in the same restrictive group of countries for export control purposes such as Cuba, Iran, Korea. North and Syria.

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The United States and Russia will meet on Monday for high-profile talks aimed at avoiding a war, as Russia has continued to accumulate troops near the borders with Ukraine. But US officials said that if the talks fail and Russia launches a new attack, the US will go directly to high-impact targets, unlike in 2014, when the US initially responded to Russia’s annexation of Crimea. targeting smaller Russian banks and lower-ranking military officers.

The officials said instead, the government will adopt a “start high, stay high” approach in which the US, in coordination with its allies, will target its financial system and sectors deemed critical to the Kremlin.

The change in strategy is both a recognition that the sanctions to date have not changed the behavior of Russian President Vladimir Putin, and a reflection of Biden’s own convictions. As vice president in 2014, Biden urged President Barack Obama to impose tougher sanctions on Russia and arm Ukraine. But it was eventually canceled.

As president, Biden has promised “dire consequences” for the Russian economy if Putin orders a full-scale invasion of Ukraine.

Sources familiar with sanctions options said the administration is preparing a series of significant trade restrictions should Russia attack, including export control measures that could halt Russia’s ability to import smartphones and key aircraft and auto components.

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The restrictions could also hamper Russia’s technological advances, including in the defense and civil aviation sectors, the sources said. Through the foreign-produced direct products rule that the US also imposed against Chinese tech company Huawei, the Biden government is considering banning exports to Russia of microelectronics (think computer chips) designed with US software or produced with American equipment.

Some Joe Biden administration officials have warned in recent weeks of the collateral economic damage from harsh sanctions and the risk of Russian cyberattacks in retaliation if the United States complies with the sanctions. But others in the administration believe that the tough sanctions being considered would have a manageable impact on the US and said the country is taking steps together with its allies to mitigate any unwanted spillover effects.

Missile deployments

Joe Biden’s administration is open to discussing the deployment of missiles to Ukraine and Europe and the possibility of restricting US and NATO exercises during upcoming talks as long as Russia makes “reciprocal” commitments, according to another senior senior official at the government.

The official noted that Biden told Putin that the United States has no plans for the deployment of offensive missiles in Ukraine. The United States is also willing to discuss the future of some missile systems in Europe along the lines of the now-defunct Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty.

However, the official stressed that the upcoming bilateral talks between Russian and US officials will not result in any immediate concrete agreement and that the officials should bring everything discussed to Washington and consult with US allies in the region.

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“We go to these meetings with a sense of realism, not optimism,” said the official, noting that the United States will not know until the talks begin whether Russia is prepared to negotiate “seriously and in good faith.”

This official stressed that the number of troops or the position of force of the United States / NATO in Europe is definitely not on the table in the next talks; Pentagon press secretary John Kirby said in a tweet Wednesday that force changes are not on the table.

Kirby wrote: “I can state unequivocally that we are NOT weighing troop cuts in Europe or changes in posture there. We are also not considering changing the number of troops in the Baltic and Poland.”

The official also emphasized that the Kremlin’s comments during or after the meeting, or what is reported by state media in Russia, may not actually reflect what is achieved in the room.

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