Published on :
Washington insisted on Tuesday on the economic sanctions that Russia would suffer in the event of an invasion of Ukraine. Joe Biden has claimed that Vladimir Putin himself could be targeted.
The tension continues to rise in the Ukrainian file. To a journalist who asked him on Tuesday, January 25 if he could consider personally sanctioning the Russian president in the event of an invasion of Ukraine, Joe Biden replied “Yes”, then “I can conceive it”. If Russia “invades the whole country”, or “even much less” than that, there will be “enormous consequences” and it would “change the world”, further indicated the American president.
Who, however, once again set the limits of any American response: “We do not intend to deploy American or NATO forces in Ukraine”, which is not a member of the military alliance. western.
Economically, however, the United States is ready to hit hard. “It is no longer a question of a graduated response. This time we will start at the top of the scale” of sanctions, said a senior White House official on Tuesday.
Washington is seeking to reverse the balance of power established by Vladimir Putin. Accused of having massed more than 100,000 soldiers on the Ukrainian border, the Russian president wants to shake up the American grip on the military and strategic balance in Europe, and particularly in the East.
After putting 8,500 soldiers on alert likely to very quickly reinforce the ranks of NATO, the United States staged a delivery of military equipment to Ukraine on Tuesday.
Washington has also warned Belarus that it faces a “swift” and “firm” response if it lets Russia use its territory to attack Ukraine.
Technology, dollars, gas
Washington is considering, according to the senior White House official, banning the export of American technology to Russia. The United States is also threatening to asphyxiate Russian banks by prohibiting them from transactions in dollars, the queen currency of international trade.
As for the possible sanctions against Vladimir Putin himself, Joe Biden did not specify their nature. When Washington sanctions foreign personalities, it most often involves freezing their assets and prohibiting transactions with the United States.
There remains an extremely delicate point, likely to undermine cohesion between Westerners: Russian hydrocarbons. The Europeans fear, in the event of an escalation, of being deprived in the middle of winter of Russian gas, which covers more than 40% of their needs.
“We believe we are ready to find alternative supplies covering a significant majority of the potential cuts” in the supply of Russian gas, promised the senior American official.
The White House announced on Tuesday, very appropriately, that Joe Biden would receive the Emir of Qatar on January 31. This ally of the United States has immense reserves of natural gas. It is also the world’s leading exporter of liquefied natural gas.