Time for Real Sanctions | National Review

Time for Real Sanctions | National Review

Militants of the self-proclaimed Donetsk People’s Republic take part in shooting drills at a range on the outskirts of Donetsk, Ukraine, December 14, 2021. (Alexander Ermochenko/Reuters)

In response to Blinken Promised ‘Swift and Firm’ Response to Russian Support of Donetsk and Luhansk Independence

Jimmy’s post from earlier today pointed out that Secretary of State Antony Blinken promised “swift and firm” action should Putin recognize the independence of Donetsk and Luhansk.

For weeks now, the U.S. and its allies have been threatening devastating sanctions should Russian aggression continue.

One would hope today would (finally) be the day.

In a speech to the Russian people, Putin not only recognized these separatist regions, but he doubled down on Russia’s historical claims to Ukraine, rooted in the USSR. CNN reported the following quotes from Putin’s speech:

“Let’s start with the fact that modern Ukraine was entirely created by Russia, more precisely, by the Bolshevik, communist Russia. This process began almost immediately after the 1917 revolution.”

“Then, on the eve and after the Second World War, Stalin already annexed to the USSR and transferred to Ukraine some lands that previously belonged to Poland, Romania and Hungary.”

“And in 1954, for some reason, Khrushchev took Crimea from Russia and gave it to Ukraine. Actually, this is how the territory of Soviet Ukraine was formed.”

The White House responded to Putin’s recognition by imposing sanctions on newly recognized regions. A statement from the White House reads:

We have anticipated a move like this from Russia and are ready to respond immediately. President Biden will soon issue an Executive Order that will prohibit new investment, trade, and financing by U.S. persons to, from, or in the so-called DNR and LNR regions of Ukraine. This E.O. will also provide authority to impose sanctions on any person determined to operate in those areas of Ukraine. The Departments of State and Treasury will have additional details shortly. We will also soon announce additional measures related to today’s blatant violation of Russia’s international commitments.

While the White House’s latest response may not be as “swift and firm” as anticipated, there’s hope that Washington will enact a stronger economic response. Today’s statement went on to say:

These measures are separate from and would be in addition to the swift and severe economic measures we have been preparing in coordination with Allies and partners should Russia further invade Ukraine.

After recognizing these territories, it appears that Putin is moving troops into the “so-called DNR and LNR” for “peacekeeping”:

We know how that story goes.

Putin’s actions, which violate the Minsk agreement, are a clear aggression and escalation.

Putin’s cards are on the table and while the White House’s new sanctions are a nice little gesture, it’s time for the “intense pressure” and “powerful sanctions” that Biden has been promising.

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About the Author

Tony Beasley
Tony Beasley writes for the Local News, US and the World Section of ANH.