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Biden says considering imposing direct sanctions on Putin


US President Joe Biden (left) and Russian President Vladimir Putin (AP file photos)

US President Joe Biden has said he would consider imposing direct economic sanctions on Russian President Vladimir Putin if he orders an invasion of Ukraine.

Biden on Tuesday said there were no plans to send American troops to Ukraine, but said he would consider imposing economic sanctions personally targeting Putin and that there would be "enormous consequences" if Russia invaded.

Reporters asked Biden on Tuesday if he would see himself personally sanctioning Putin if he invaded Ukraine.

"Yes," he said. "I would see that."

The United States claims that Russia has been amassing thousands of troops on the border with Ukraine to attack Ukraine. Moscow has rejected the allegations and said the troop build-up is defensive.

Washington has insisted upon expanding the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) into the former Soviet states of Eastern Europe, including Ukraine, and the nations of the defunct Warsaw Pact, since the Cold War ended. Russia has vowed to counter any such Western attempts.

On Monday, the US and NATO said they were preparing thousands of troops to potentially deploy to Eastern Europe to counter the threat of a "Russian invasion."

Also on Monday, Biden claimed he shared "total unanimity" with European leaders against Russia amid Washington’s claims that Moscow is preparing to invade Ukraine, despite reports that many European states - including the two most powerful countries on the continent, Germany and France - appear resistant to the continuous NATO expansion to Russia’s borders.

UK prepares ‘a hard-hitting package of sanctions’

Meanwhile, British Prime Minister Boris Johnson on Tuesday called on European allies to have sanctions ready to go if Russia invades Ukraine.

"We have a hard-hitting package of sanctions ready to go and what I think it would be fair to say is we want to see our European friends ready to deploy that package as soon as there should be any incursion at all by Russia into Ukraine," Johnson said in a statement to parliament.

"It is absolutely vital that... the West is united now, because it is our unity now that will be much more effective in deterring any Russian aggression," Johnson told parliament, urging "our European friends" to be ready to deploy sanctions as soon as there was any invasion.

Russia said it was watching US-led provocations with "great concern." Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said that the crisis was being driven by American and NATO actions, not by Russia’s moves.

Meanwhile, American aircraft loaded with military equipment and munitions landed in Ukraine, carrying the third such arms shipments supplied to Kiev amid escalating tensions between the West and Russia.

The United States has committed more than $650 million in security assistance to Ukraine in the past year and more than $2.7 billion in total since 2014, when the then-Ukrainian territory of the Crimean Peninsula voted in a referendum to fall under Russian sovereignty.

The second batch of US military equipment had arrived in Kiev on Sunday.

Several NATO members such as Britain, Spain, Denmark and the Netherlands have already sent consignments of weapons and warships to the region amid tensions with Russia over Ukraine.

Western governments accuse Russia of planning an invasion of Ukraine. Moscow rejects the allegation and insists that its border deployments are defensive in nature.

 

LINK: https://www.ansarpress.com/english/26417


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