A Russian official said Tuesday that sanctions being imposed by the Biden administration for gobbling a choice slice of Ukraine will mean nothing to Russia but will pose serious consequences for Americans.
“[S]anctions cannot solve a thing” Russian ambassador to the U.S. Anatoly Antonov posted on the Russian embassy’s Facebook account.
He said what Russia can shrug off will, in the end, devastate Americans.
“It is hard to imagine that there is a person in Washington who expects Russia to revise its foreign policy under a threat of restrictions. I don’t remember a single day when our country lived without any restrictions from the Western world. We have learned to work in such conditions. And not only to survive, but also to develop our state,” he wrote.
“There is no doubt that the sanctions introduced against us will hit global financial and energy markets. The United States will not be left out, with its ordinary citizens feeling the consequences of the price increase in full,” he continued.
The Biden administration slapped the sanctions on Russia in response to Russian troops flowing into breakaway regions of Ukraine, according to The Washington Post.
“To put it simply, Russia just announced that it is carving out a big chunk of Ukraine,” President Joe Biden said Tuesday, according to The New York Times, adding that Russian President Vladimir Putin is “setting up a rationale to take more territory by force.”
“This is the beginning of a Russian invasion of Ukraine,” he said, adding that “we’ll continue to escalate sanctions if Russia escalates.”
The limited sanctions freeze the assets of two state-owned banks and target Russian elites. Biden said the really tough sanctions will follow if Russia continues its apparent invasion.
However, Alexander Gabuev of the Asia-Pacific Program at the Carnegie Moscow Center said most of those people impacted Tuesday are already hit by past sanctions, according to The New York Times.
“They are the powerful everybodies in today’s Russia,” he said. “There is a lot of posh richness. They’re totally secluded. They’re the kings, and that can be secured in Russia only.”
They are also, he said, “the very guys who are directly benefiting from the economy becoming more insulated, more detached from the outside world.”
China could also step up to ease the impact of sanctions, said Daniel Russel, a former assistant secretary of state for East Asian and Pacific affairs and an executive at the Asia Society. And the West might never know, he said.
“They’ve developed a lot of e-payment and digital workarounds,” he said.“There are all kinds of fairly sophisticated barter systems they’ve been employing. Thirdly, they can hide behind a lot of black market stuff.”
“Biden talked tough but embodied the same contradiction,” he wrote.
“If Putin is ‘carving a big chunk out of Ukraine,’ if he committed ‘a flagrant violation of international law,’ why the junior-league sanctions? I’m not saying they don’t have much bite, but they are a fraction of what the president said would happen if Russian troops moved in. Now he’s holding back.”
This article appeared originally on The Western Journal.
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