The Ukrainian president is calling it as he sees it regarding the United States’ “deterrent” of sanctions they threaten to impose on Russia if they attack his country. President Volodymyr Zelensky was speaking at the Munich Security Conference over the weekend. He focused directly on making a threat to impose sanctions against Russia and not doing anything before an attack.
Zelensky said, “You’re telling me that it’s 100% that the war will start in a couple of days. Then what [are you] waiting for? … We don’t need your sanctions after the bombardment will happen, and after our country will be fired at or after we will have no borders or after we will have no economy or parts of our country will be occupied. Why would we need those sanctions then?”
Despite the Ukrainian President’s candor, German Chancellor Olaf Scholz still maintained that sanctions should be put off so that there is the potential for a peaceful resolution. He also said that the threat of sanctions will keep Russia on their toes because they do not know exactly what will happen after an invasion.
Scholz said, “It’s better to say we do it then, instead of doing it now, because we want to avoid the situation. … We want to go in the direction where peace is having a chance.” He also noted that it did not make sense to him to make the post-invasion plans public. He wants Russia unsure of what to expect if they make the move to invade.
President Joe Biden has pulled together other ally nations to prepare sanctions as a means of deterrence. Biden’s White House Press Secretary, Jen Psaki, faced an intense question from Fox News reporter Jacqui Heinrich. He wanted to know from Psaki at what point the United States would decide to break away from their present strategy and say that it is not working.
He asked why the United States isn’t imposing sanctions right now instead of waiting for a Russian move of aggression. She answered that it was the collective view of that national security team that they needed the sanctions to serve as a deterrent and if they were in place now, there would be nothing to stop Russia.
Heinrich did not give up. He countered Psaki by suggesting that the White House administration was then “waiting for people to die” before implementing sanctions.
Psaki immediately responded by saying that the comment was “unfair.” She also harped on the fact that one of Putin’s goals is to divide NATO countries. She emphatically said that this is not happening just the opposite was happening.
The president of Ukraine and that White House reporter aren’t the only ones focusing on the need for something done before an invasion happens. Senator Lindsey Graham from South Carolina believes that the United States should be imposing something on Putin right now. Graham put on spotlight on the fact that Putin may have close to 200,000 troops at the border of Ukraine and he is not paying any price for his actions. Graham said that he wants to “hit him now” because of the way he is creating such upheaval. He thinks we should have the sanctions communicated to him so he knows exactly what will happen to the ruble and his oil and gas commodities.
It’s hard to believe that no one is sufficiently responding to President Volodymyr Zelensky’s heartfelt request for action now. Putin’s shadow is looming within miles of the center of his administration, and the world is in just a waiting mode. For many of Zelensky’s people, it will be too little too late.