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Authorities detail “high impact” sanctions against Russia that would differ from 2014

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Authorities detail “high impact” sanctions against Russia that would differ from 2014

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The sanctions could have major impacts on Russian consumers, industrial operations and jobs, the sources said, and in some cases would place Russia in the same restrictive group of countries for export control purposes as Cuba, l ‘Iran, North Korea and Syria.

Officials said that instead, the administration would take a “start high, stay high” approach in which the United States, in coordination with its allies, would target its financial system and areas deemed critical to the Kremlin.

The change in strategy is both a recognition that the sanctions to date have not changed the behavior of Russian President Vladimir Putin and a reflection of Biden’s own beliefs. As vice president in 2014, Biden urged President Barack Obama to impose tougher sanctions on Russia and arm Ukraine. But he was ultimately rejected.

As president, Biden promised “grave consequences” for the Russian economy if Putin orders a full-scale invasion of Ukraine.

Sources familiar with the sanctions options said the administration was preparing a series of significant trade restrictions in the event of an attack on Russia, including export control measures that could prevent Russia from importing smartphones and components. aircraft and automobile keys.

The restrictions could also hamper Russia’s technological progress, especially in the defense and civil aviation sectors, the sources said. Thanks to the foreign-produced direct product rule that the United States has also imposed on Chinese tech company Huawei, the Biden administration is considering banning exports to Russia of microelectronics – think computer chips – designed with American software or produced using American equipment.

Some officials in the Biden administration have warned in recent weeks of the collateral economic damage from tough sanctions and the risk of retaliatory Russian cyberattacks if the United States enforces the sanctions. But other members of the administration believe the proposed tough sanctions would have a manageable impact on the United States, and said the United States is taking action with its allies to mitigate any unwanted ripple effects.

Missile deployments

The Biden administration is open to discussing missile deployments in Ukraine and Europe and the possibility of restricting US and NATO exercises in upcoming talks as long as Russia makes “reciprocal” commitments, according to another senior administration official.

The official noted that Biden told Putin that the United States has no plans to deploy offensive missiles in Ukraine. The United States is also open to discussing the future of certain missile systems in Europe based on the defunct Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty.

The official stressed, however, that upcoming bilateral talks between Russian and US officials will not lead to any immediate concrete agreement and officials will need to report everything that has been discussed in Washington and discuss it with US allies in the region.

“We approach these meetings with a sense of realism, not optimism,” the official said, noting that the United States will not know until the start of talks whether Russia is ready to negotiate “seriously and in good faith.” . “

This official stressed that the troop numbers or the position of US / NATO forces in Europe are definitely not on the table for future talks; Pentagon press secretary John Kirby tweeted Wednesday that force changes were not on the agenda.

Kirby wrote: “Can unequivocally state that we are NOT weighing troop reductions in Europe or postural changes there. We also have no plans to change troop numbers in the Baltics and Poland. “

The official also pointed out that the Kremlin’s remarks during or after the meeting, or what is reported by state media in Russia, may not really reflect what is being done in the room.

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