(RepublicanDaily.org) – Weeks of uncertainty over the situation between Russia and Ukraine appear to be coming to a head. The Kremlin remains insistent that it does not want to invade its neighbor, but it has recently taken action to occupy two regions — Luhansk and Donetsk. However, US intelligence suggests this is a misrepresentation of the issue, and officials now believe larger action will be coming in the next few days. Vice President Kamala Harris previously weighed in on her preferred strategy for dealing with the situation from a US perspective.
On Sunday, February 20, Harris reaffirmed her support for the strategy of threatening sanctions against Russia to deter an invasion. The vice president’s statement was an apparent contradiction of a comment she made on Saturday that the US believed Russian President Vladimir Putin had already made the decision.
A reporter pointed out this contradiction, asking what leverage the US had if Putin had already made up his mind. “Why not put those sanctions in place now?” the reporter asked. However, Harris doubled down. She highlighted the fact that the proposed sanctions were among the strongest in history, implying this would have an impact on the Kremlin. She said the primary goal of sanctions was deterrence and that the US was still hoping to walk a diplomatic path.
US will impose far-reaching financial sanctions that will target Russia’s financial institutions and key industries, and "will target those who are complicit and those who aid and abet
this unprovoked invasion" into Ukraine, @VP tells Munich Security Conference. #MSC2022 pic.twitter.com/1y7Xn6DVOU
— Jennifer Jacobs (@JenniferJJacobs) February 19, 2022
Many critics have a decidedly different view on the situation than the vice president. Some have dismissed the threat of sanctions as an ineffective deterrent. For example, Sen. Tommy Tuberville (R-AL) said last week that threatening to impose sanctions if Russia invaded would be nothing more than a “slap on the wrist.”
In the wake of Russia’s decision to occupy multiple regions in Eastern Ukraine, multiple Western leaders including the UK are rolling out sanctions against the country. On Tuesday, the White House finally announced it was going beyond threats and decided to apply new sanctions as well. Does this mean that sanctions are more of a deterrent than just threats? Or will they merely be a slap on the wrist?
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