If Moscow goes to war with Ukraine, the U.S. could cut off foreign currency, block Russian access to financial institutions and impose sanctions on Putin.
America president Joe Biden Said Jan. 25 that it was considering direct sanctions on its opponents Vladimir Putin If Russia attacks Ukraine. Trump added that he had stressed to Putin the “consequences” of the attack on Ukraine.
Reviewer Ellen Knickmeyer’s Associated Press The U.S. believes the U.S. has many punitive weapons at hand, from broad sanctions on Russia to the option to directly target Kremlin bosses in case Moscow takes military action on Ukrainian soil.
exclude Russia from the global financial system
Removing Russia from the Society for Worldwide Interbank Financial Telecommunication (SWIFT) would be one of the harshest measures that could be taken. America and European allies could apply, causing serious immediate and long-term damage to the Russian economy.
SWIFT enables banks and financial institutions around the world to send and receive information about financial transactions in a secure, standard and trusted environment. As of 2015, SWIFT had connected more than 11,000 financial institutions in more than 200 countries and territories.
The move will prevent Russia from conducting international financial transactions, including oil and gas exports, which account for 40 percent of the country’s budget revenue.
The West considered these options in 2014, when the Russia annex Crimea and support separatist militias in eastern Ukraine. Moscow then announced that removing them from SWIFT would mean a declaration of war, leading Washington and its allies to abandon the plan.
Russia then tried to develop its own financial trading system, with little success. Meanwhile, the US has successfully persuaded SWIFT to remove Iran from the system in order to punish its nuclear ambitions.
However, excluding Russia from SWIFT would also hurt many Western economies, including the US and Germany. U.S. lawmakers said last week that the Biden administration was still analyzing the impact of the measure. German Foreign Minister Annalena Berbock expressed doubts about the validity of this option.
Stop Russia from using the dollar
The U.S. dollar remains one of the U.S.’s most powerful financial weapons against Russia, as it dominates the global financial system, with trillions of dollars traded every day. U.S. dollar transactions must be approved by the Federal Reserve or U.S. financial authorities, which means foreign banks must have access to the U.S. financial system to process transactions.
This ability to block access to the system allows Washington to extend its influence and financial crackdown beyond its borders. The United States has blocked many financial institutions from trading in dollars, accusing them of violating sanctions on countries such as Iran and Sudan.
President Biden has hinted that this is one of the measures the U.S. is considering. Unlike SWIFT, this is a sanction that the US can impose on its own without the involvement of allies. It could have a huge impact, as even simple transactions like shopping in Russia or paying salaries can be hampered.
White House press secretary Jen Psaki has confirmed that the United States is developing an export control program to prevent Russia from acquiring high technology used in a range of devices related to modern life.
The measure could make Russia one of the countries with the worst technology embargoes, including Cuba, Iran, North Korea and Syria. As Washington dominates the global software, technology and electronics industries, Moscow will be restricted from buying microchips and products containing electronic circuits.
Sanctions also target a number of important industries, including defense and civil aviation, hampering Russia’s ambitions in many high-tech fields.
Still, U.S. export restrictions could prompt companies to look for alternatives in countries like China.
The Biden administration last year limited Moscow’s borrowing capacity by barring U.S. financial institutions from buying government bonds directly from Russia. The embargo has not yet targeted the secondary market, leaving the door open for further sanctions.
Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline
U.S. lawmakers find a way to cope Gas project Nord Stream 2 has traveled from Russia to Germany for many years, thinking it will be a card for Moscow to gain a policy advantage in Europe. Republicans want immediate sanctions on pipeline companies, while Democrats say action should only be taken if Russia attacks Ukraine.
The Biden administration has avoided taking the step to limit the risk of tensions with key ally Germany. German officials have previously said they would consider freezing the Nord Stream 2 pipeline if Russia launches military action in Ukraine, but this is Berlin’s only public statement so far.
punish Putin directly
One of the most common U.S. sanctions tactics is to ban foreign leaders and those close to them. That means an embargo and asset freeze targeting President Putin and Russian officials, as well as their families and the country’s biggest entrepreneurs and businesses.
Donald Trump imposed sanctions on Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro in 2017 and Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei in 2019.
However, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said on January 13 that any U.S. sanctions on Putin would beyond the bottom line And could lead to a “broken relationship” between the two parties.
Wu Ying (follow Associated Press)