The United States warned Moscow on Tuesday that, if it invades Ukraine, it will face faster and much harsher economic consequences than when Russia annexed the Ukrainian peninsula of Crimea in 2014.
“We are prepared to implement sanctions with massive consequences that were not considered in 2014,” a national security official told reporters in Washington, explaining, “That means the gradualism of the past is over. And this time, we will start at the top of the ladder and stay there.”
The official said the United States “is also prepared to impose novel export controls” to hamper the Russian economy.
“You can think of these export controls as trade restrictions in the service of broader U.S. national security interests,” the official added. “We use them to ban the export of products from Russia.”
The president himself later, in an informal exchange with reporters, stated that he even sees himself imposing sanctions on President Vladimir Putin himself should the Kremlin invade Ukraine. “Yes, I would contemplate it” replied the president when asked about the matter.
The Biden Administration spokesman argued that if President Vladimir Putin “takes a step back and looks at the global dominance of the technology of software of U.S. origin, the export control options we are considering-along with our allies and partners-would affect Putin’s strategic ambitions to industrialize his economy quite forcefully, and Would hurt areas that are important to himwhether in artificial intelligence, quantum computing, defense or aerospace or other key sectors.”
The United States and its allies imposed less severe economic sanctions against Moscow after its seizure of Crimea, but they ultimately proved ineffective and the peninsula remains under Russian control. Now the Kremlin has deployed some 127,000 troops along the Ukrainian border.
* With reporting by Voice of America reporters Patsy Widakuswara and Ken Bredemeier from Washington DC.
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