US Sanctions on Russia Producing Desired Results: Biden Official

23rd April. 2021

The U.S. sanctions imposed last week on Russia generated results that were “pretty close” to Washington’s hopes, a senior Biden administration official said on Friday, as tensions appeared to ease between the countries over Ukraine.

“Our intention was to act in a proportionate manner, and to be targeted in our approach, and to signal that we had the capacity to impose far greater costs if Russia continued or escalated its behavior,” said Daleep Singh, a top White House international economic aide, in an interview.

“The results so far have been pretty close to what we had hoped for.”

Russia’s defense ministry said on Friday it had begun returning military units from annexed Crimea to their permanent bases following a build-up of tens of thousands of troops near Ukraine’s border that had raised concerns about the risk of war.

Last week, U.S. President Joe Biden’s team imposed broad sanctions on Russia to punish Moscow for bullying Ukraine as well as interfering in last year’s U.S. election, cyber hacking and other alleged actions.

Biden approved provisions that would let officials easily expand the sanctions on any area of the Russian economy in response to future provocations.

But Biden stressed at the time that he had no desire to escalate tensions. He also signaled retaliation was forthcoming in a call with Russian President Vladimir Putin two days before imposing the sanctions.

The measures were one part of a broader strategy by the U.S. administration to thaw relations with Moscow, which had deteriorated since Biden took office in January.

“They’re just a tool that can advance a strategy by, in this case, creating leverage for a diplomatic process,” said Singh. “In the case of Russia, the goal of that process is for a more stable and predictable relationship.”Russia responded by asking 10 U.S. diplomats to leave the country and suggested the U.S. ambassador return home for consultations, but they left the door open for further dialog and a possible Biden-Putin summit.The Kremlin has denied U.S. allegations that it meddled in American elections, orchestrated a cyber hack that used U.S. tech company SolarWinds Corp to penetrate U.S. government networks and used a nerve agent to poison Kremlin critic Alexei Navalny.The White House has closely been watching the treatment of Navalny, an opposition politician who was jailed for 2-1/2 years in February for parole violations that he and his supporters said were fabricated.On Friday, Navalny said he would start ending a hunger strike after getting medical care. His worsening health in Russian custody had raised alarm in the West. 

© 2021 Thomson/Reuters. All rights reserved.

4 comments

  • Seems an absurdly optimistic position to take. Maybe they know something we don’t?
    But definitely a bit complacent. They need to be planning a fresh round of far more serious sanctions, rather than a pointless meeting.

    Liked by 5 people

  • In the comments section of the original article there is one from ‘Liquid rock’ that is quite interesting:
    Liquidrock

    ‘According to real news agencies OUTSIDE of US, Russia isn’t removing troops from fronts near the Ukraine, but recycling troops to season them to the Ukraine environment. How is that progress? We’ve already determined that Russian influence on US elections were no more or less active in 2020 than they have been since the Cold War started. In other words, they have ALWAYS been doing it. Very poorly, I might add. In addition, Russia has shutdown access to waterways WE use that THEY control. How is THAT successful?’

    Liked by 5 people

  • onlyfactsplease

    Never rest on your laurels, especially when dealing with a scoundrel like Pew-tin. And, never underestimate your enemy, even if it’s a shithole like mafia land. Mafia land is blocking about a quarter of theBlack Sea. I don’t think that we wanted this as a “desired result”.
    Slam mafia land with harder sanctions, arm Ukraine to the teeth and send in US navy ships … right through the areas blocked by mafia land!!! Those are in international waters!

    Liked by 3 people

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