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Amid fears of an invasion of Ukraine, Biden threatens tough sanctions on Moscow and Putin demands guarantees on NATO expansion

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The White House said that US President Joe Biden warned his Russian counterpart, Vladimir Putin, that Russia would be subjected to severe economic and other sanctions if Moscow launched a military attack on Ukraine, while Putin demanded Biden for guarantees against the expansion of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) to the east.

US National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan stated that President Biden told his Russian counterpart that he was ready to take actions that were not taken in 2014 if Russia invaded Ukraine, and Sullivan added that Biden was clear with Putin and emphasized US support for Ukraine’s sovereignty.

Sullivan stressed, in a press conference, after remote talks between Biden and Putin, that the American side explained the details of some of these measures, adding that Washington was discussing this file with its European allies, and at the same time refused to reveal the nature of the expected US sanctions.

The White House had said that President Joe Biden told his Russian counterpart, Vladimir Putin, that Washington and its allies would respond with severe economic sanctions if Moscow escalated militarily with its neighbor Ukraine, against the backdrop of Russia’s mobilization of tens of thousands of soldiers and weapons near the border with Ukraine.

The nature of the penalties

Reuters quoted US officials as saying that they informed Congress of their understanding with Germany to close the Nord Stream pipeline to transport Russian gas to Europe, if Russia invaded Ukraine. US sources revealed that the Biden administration had discussed targeting Putin’s inner circle with sanctions, which may include the largest Russian banks, but no decision has been taken yet.

US sources revealed that the Biden administration had discussed targeting Putin’s inner circle with sanctions, which may include the largest Russian banks, but no decision has been taken yet.

The sources said Washington and its European allies are considering imposing sanctions on the Russian Direct Investment Fund, and on Moscow’s ability to convert rubles into dollars and other foreign currencies if Putin decides to invade Ukraine.

The sources added that the United States may also limit the ability of investors to buy Russian debt.

As for CNN, it stated that the United States may resort to the extreme step of separating Russia from the international payment system used by banks around the world, which is known as the Swift system.

The Chairman of the Armed Services Committee in the US House of Representatives, Adam Smith, said that the country’s military intervention in Ukraine is not on the table in the event that Russian forces invade Ukraine.

Smith stressed, in an interview with CNN, that the position of his country and European allies is based on imposing harsh economic sanctions on Moscow if it chooses to proceed with the invasion of its neighbor.

Washington allies

Following the two-hour summit between Biden and Putin, the US president made contacts with the leaders of France, Germany, Italy and Britain with the aim of informing them of the content of what took place between him and Putin, as well as “consulting on the next steps.”

The White House said in a statement that the five leaders (Biden, French President Emmanuel Macron, Chancellor Angela Merkel, Italian Prime Ministers Mario Draghi and Britain’s Boris Johnson) “emphasized their support for Ukraine’s sovereignty and territorial integrity, and the need for Russia to reduce the level of tension and engage in the diplomatic path.”

In the same context, the Elysee Palace said on Tuesday that President Macron will hold talks in the coming days with his Ukrainian counterparts, Volodymyr Zelensky and Russian Vladimir Putin.

In an interview with Al Jazeera from Kiev, Sergei Nikiforov, the press secretary of the Ukrainian President, stated that he hoped that President Biden had found the appropriate words to persuade Putin to reduce the escalation and withdraw his forces from the border with Ukraine, and the Ukrainian official added that he believed that the mechanism of imposing sanctions on Russia could succeed in deterring it. about attacking Ukraine.

Russia’s demands

On the other hand, the Kremlin said that Putin asked Biden for guarantees that NATO would not expand to the east, criticizing the alliance’s moves by saying that it is making dangerous moves to seize the territory of Ukraine and approaching Russia’s borders.

The Russian presidency added that Biden and Putin’s dialogue was very open, and that Putin suggested that Biden stop all reciprocal punitive measures regarding reducing the work of diplomatic representations in both countries.

The Kremlin stressed that Russian forces do not pose a threat to Ukraine, despite their deployment near the border between the two countries, and Moscow had mentioned that its deployment of forces near the Ukrainian border was part of military exercises.

Commenting on the US threats to impose sanctions on Russia in the event of a military attack on Ukraine, Putin said that “the responsibility should not be placed on Russia.”

Moscow accused Kiev of adopting “destructive behavior”, considering that it seeks to “dismantle” the Minsk agreements concluded in 2015, which is supposed to put an end to the conflict between Ukrainian forces and pro-Russian separatists in eastern Ukraine, according to a mechanism that has stalled for years.

The Kremlin said that Biden and Putin “agreed to ask their representatives to start consultations on the substance of these sensitive issues.”

Relations between Russia and the United States have fallen to the lowest level since the end of the Cold War more than 30 years ago, due to several issues, including the crisis between Ukraine and Russia and NATO’s approach to the Russian border.

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Reference-www.aljazeera.net

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