The United States Hopes the Threat of Tough Sanctions Will Deter a Russian Invasion of Ukraine – Here’s How It Works

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Economic sanctions remain one of the most powerful tools the United States has in its foreign policy arsenal. And as Russian forces continue to rally along the border with Ukraine, US officials hope the threat of such sanctions can deter a full-scale invasion.

“The problem with sanctions is that they are more effective if you don’t have to use them,” said Olga Oliker, director of the Europe and Central Asia program at the International Crisis Group. “They are most effective if you can credibly threaten something the other person doesn’t want enough that they don’t do what you’re trying to stop them from doing.”

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In addition to sanctions that target specific individuals or companies, some proposals involve cutting Russia off from the SWIFT system, which would remove Russian institutions from a major global financial network.

Another goal is the nearly completed Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline, which, when operational, would double the amount of natural gas flowing from Russia to Germany via the Baltic Sea and likely reduce the need for other gas pipelines, such as the Urengoy-Pomary-Uzhhorod gas pipeline. that crosses Ukraine.

Republican Senator Ted Cruz of Texas has proposed a bill that would require automatic sanctions against operators of Nord Stream 2 within two weeks of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. The bill failed to pass Thursday, but garnered a handful of Democratic votes in the final count.

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Sens Democrats Robert Menendez of New Jersey and Jeanne Shaheen of New Hampshire have proposed an alternative bill that “would impose crippling sanctions on Russia’s banking industry and senior military and government officials if the president [Vladimir] Putin is stepping up hostile actions in Ukraine or against Ukraine.”

“The Ukrainian army is not the same one it had when Russia invaded Crimea,” Shaheen said in an interview with TNZT.com. “They have had their weapons systems modernized – the United States has supported them in this. We have had NATO and United States trainers working in the country. So the circumstances are very different from what ‘they were when Russia entered Crimea. And we must do everything possible to make Putin understand that it will be a united response if he takes this step. “

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Watch the video above to find out how US sanctions work, whether the US can persuade allies to cut Russia off from major financial network SWIFT, and what’s next in the foreign policy clash between the West and Russia.

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