Biden offers carrots, threatens sticks with Russia over Ukraine

The Biden administration presents Russia with a combination of carrots and sticks as talks with Moscow approach over threats to invade Ukraine.

Senior US officials have said the administration is open to discussions with Russia on reducing possible future deployments of offensive missiles in Ukraine and limiting US and NATO military exercises in Eastern Europe if it is prepared to backtrack on Ukraine.

But, they also say that Russia will be hit hard by economic sanctions if it intervenes in Ukraine. In addition to direct sanctions against Russian entities, these sanctions could include significant restrictions on products exported from the United States to Russia and products potentially manufactured abroad subject to U.S. jurisdiction.

Russia could be added to the most restrictive group of countries for export control purposes, along with Cuba, Iran, North Korea and Syria, officials said.

The administration unveiled some details of its approach on Saturday as senior U.S. and Russian officials prepare to meet in Switzerland on Monday.

Officials said the United States was willing to discuss some limited aspects of its European security position in these talks. But they stressed that any agreement would be conditional on Russia removing threats against Ukraine and that no decision would be taken without the consent of Ukraine or NATO.

Officials also said there was no chance the United States would reduce its military presence or arsenal in Eastern Europe as requested by Russia.

While the comments, made to reporters on condition of anonymity during a White House conference call, were the first to suggest a willingness to compromise on issues tangential to Ukraine, they were accompanied by threats to Russian inaction.

In the event of a Russian invasion of Ukraine, “we – in coordination with our allies and partners – would immediately impose severe and overwhelming costs on the Russian economy, including its financial system and sectors deemed critical to the Kremlin,” another official said.

In addition to sanctions on energy and consumer goods, the United States and its allies are considering banning the export to Russia of advanced electronic components, software and related technologies using American equipment.

This would mean that Russia’s ability to obtain integrated circuits and products containing integrated circuits would be severely limited, due to the global dominance of American software, technology and equipment in this sector. The impact could extend to aircraft avionics, machine tools, smartphones, game consoles, tablets and televisions.

Such sanctions could also target critical Russian industry, including its defense and civil aviation sectors, undermining Russia’s high-tech ambitions, whether in artificial intelligence or quantum computing.

US officials have been careful not to issue ultimatums to Russia, while at the same time demanding that threats against Ukraine cease. But they also categorically rejected Russian demands that NATO will not expand further east and that the United States withdraw its troops and weapons from Eastern Europe.

Despite this position, the United States and NATO have signaled their willingness to explore compromises on related issues.

“We think we can at least explore the possibility of making progress with the Russians,” an official said on Saturday, ahead of Monday’s strategic and security dialogue between the United States and Russia in Geneva. He added, however, that “there will be no firm commitment made in these talks.”

Monday’s meeting will be followed by talks between Russia and NATO members on Wednesday and with a wider European audience on Thursday.

Source link

About Marilyn Perkins

Check Also

Eight clubs interested in Alastair Clarkson, suitors, landing spots, offers, Gold Coast Suns, GWS Giants, West Coast Eagles, Port Adelaide, North Melbourne, Essendon, latest

As many as eight AFL clubs have already contacted Premier Alastair Clarkson’s four-time coach over …