U.S. and Europe not to Fight for Ukraine – West Limits Itself to Sanctions Against Russia

U.S. and Europe not to Fight for Ukraine – West Limits Itself to Sanctions Against Russia

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The peacekeeping operation of the Russian Armed Forces in Ukraine continues for the fifth day already. On the previous day, Russian President Vladimir Putin said that in response to an appeal from Heads of the Donetsk People’s Republic (DPR) and Luhansk People’s Republic (LPR), he had made a decision to conduct a special military operation.

According to Putin, Moscow has no plans to occupy Ukrainian territories.

The Western world almost immediately reacted to the act of “Russian aggression.” Thus, U.S. President Joe Biden announced that he had ordered new “heavy” sanctions against Russia, export restrictions, and measures against four banks, including VTB Bank. Biden explained that the sanctions have been designed to “impose a severe cost on the Russian economy” Russia and reduce the impact of the measures on the U.S. economy and its allies.

In addition, Biden underlined that the U.S. together with Europe would deny major Russian state companies the opportunity to receive money from investors from those countries. Biden also threatened that the U.S. and its allies would be able to block half of Russia's high-tech imports. He believes that this move would “deal a blow” to Russia's ability to modernize its military.

At the same time, Biden said that the USA and NATO would not fight for Ukraine. In their turn, representatives of the European Union said that sanctions will affect 70 percent of the Russian banking sector. Moreover, the measures will also affect “ordinary Russians,” according to the EU, because it will be “impossible to withdraw money” abroad from the cards of those Russian banks against which sanctions have been imposed.

According to Anton Sergunov, Head of the Cards vertical of Banki.ru, “no problems should be expected” with payments by cards of Visa and Mastercard international systems of the Russian banks, even if a bank is included in the sanctions list. Payments in Russia by these cards are processed through the National Payment Card System (NPCS), whose representatives have already announced their readiness to process increased volumes of transactions, said Sergunov.

Biden noted that the sanctions will be also imposed on the Russian elite. “As I said on Tuesday, these are people who personally gain from the Kremlin’s policies and they should share in the pain,” Biden said during the speech but did not name those who would fall under the new U.S. sanctions.

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson said the previous day that the coordinated sanctions that Western countries intend to impose on Russia must involve the rejection of the Russian oil and gas. Johnson underlined that he welcomed German Chancellor Olaf Scholz's decision to halt certification of the Nord Stream 2 natural gas pipeline. As the Russian saying goes, just to spite Grandma, I’ll freeze my ears off.

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