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Too early for Russia sanctions over Ukraine, Blinken says
Conflict

Too early for Russia sanctions over Ukraine, Blinken says

23.01.2022 From our online archive
Senator Joni Ernst, a Republican from Iowa, said President Joe Biden’s administration has pursued “a doctrine of appeasement”
 An Ukrainian Military Forces serviceman smokes in a dugout, as he and a cat sit near a wood burner on the frontline with the Russia-backed separatists near Zolote village, in the eastern Lugansk region, on January 21, 2022. -
An Ukrainian Military Forces serviceman smokes in a dugout, as he and a cat sit near a wood burner on the frontline with the Russia-backed separatists near Zolote village, in the eastern Lugansk region, on January 21, 2022. -
Photo credit: AFP

 US Secretary of State Antony Blinken rejected pressure to impose immediate sanctions on Russia for its military buildup around Ukraine, saying it would limit western options in the future.

Blinken said the US has focused with its European allies on building up the threat of “massive consequences” for Russia to dissuade President Vladimir Putin from sending forces into Ukraine and on leaving the door open to diplomacy.

“The purpose of those sanctions is to deter Russian aggression and so if they’re triggered now, you lose the deterrent effect,” Blinken said on CNN’s “State of the Union” on Sunday. A UK warning that Russia is plotting to install a pro-Kremlin government in Ukraine reflects “part of the Russian playbook,” he said on CBS’s “Face the Nation.”

Blinken and Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov held inconclusive talks in Geneva last week that failed to resolve the standoff over Ukraine. Blinken earlier visited his Ukrainian counterpart in Kyiv and held talks in Berlin with UK, German and French allies. The US this week plans to present written responses to Russia addressing its concerns.

Some US lawmakers joined Ukraine in calling for a sharper response now.

Senator Chris Coons, a Delaware Democrat, argued for a bipartisan bill that would “apply some sanctions now.”

“But the very strongest sanctions, the sorts of sanctions that we used to bring Iran to the table, is something that we should hold out as a deterrent to prevent Putin from taking the last step of invading Ukraine,” Coons said on ABC’s “This Week.”

Senator Joni Ernst, a Republican from Iowa, said President Joe Biden’s administration has pursued “a doctrine of appeasement” against Russia.

“So let’s make sure that we are pushing back right now, with stiff sanctions, making sure that we are showing Putin we do mean business,” she said on ABC.   

 

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