The newspaper relies on conversations with US and European officials who revealed details about sanctions that may come after a possible Russian invasion. The United States is deliberately leaking plans to influence Russian President Vladimir Putin. He will then know the penalties he may face.
The United States and Western countries are deeply concerned about the increase in Russian forces on the border with Ukraine. They fear that Moscow is considering an invasion of the Eastern European country. The newspaper wrote that the list of possible sanctions includes arming anti-Russian fighters in Ukraine if an invasion actually occurs.
Washington is also said to have consulted with allies about the possibility of cutting off major Russian financial institutions from international payments. Those plans have now been leaked on the eve of summit meetings to prevent further escalation.
Russia is in talks with the United States and NATO this week. Moscow wants, among other things, a guarantee that neighboring Ukraine cannot join this alliance. Since the fall of the communist Soviet Union, many former Soviet countries have joined NATO, much to the chagrin of Russia.
The United States is not confident of the successful outcome of the close talks. According to the New York Times, diplomats fear that the Russians may later announce that their concerns have not been adequately addressed. This could serve as a justification for military action.
Americans were looking closely at the impact of the sanctions imposed on Russia in 2014. This happened after the annexation of Ukraine’s Crimea. The White House later concluded that these measures were harmful to the Russian economy, but not so painful that Putin had to back off.
It should be different this time. One insider called the planned sanctions “the high-impact rapid response we didn’t choose in 2014”.
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