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Zelensky urges Biden to increase economic pressure on Moscow and increase sanctions

Zelensky and the Ukrainian government are determined to take swift action by Western allies to economically punish Russia’s aggression, and Zelensky is demanding an international trade embargo on all Russian goods and products. .. channel.

US sanctions against Russian authorities are primarily aimed at the Kremlin’s elite and the House of Representatives, one of the two parliaments of the Russian Parliament. Said.

Shortly before publicly announcing the measures in a speech at the White House, Biden called Zelensky on Friday morning to explain to the Ukrainian President the latest series of sanctions by the administration against Russia. The person said. He had a great influence on Russia, but he said he wanted them to be expanded as soon as possible.

People spoke on anonymous terms to reflect the details of their private phone calls.

Zelensky previously tweeted about his conversation with Biden. He “had a substantive conversation with @POTUS. He gave him an assessment of the situation on the battlefield and informed him of Russia’s crimes against civilians. We will strengthen sanctions against Ukraine and Russia.”

A White House spokesman declined to comment. The White House earlier told Biden on Friday that he had told Zelensky “to emphasize support for Ukrainians who continue to protect their country from provocative and unjustified attacks by Russia.”

Zelensky’s demands reflect the increasingly difficult challenges facing the White House, which seeks to impose severe fines on Russian President Vladimir Putin without causing significant damage to the global economy.

The White House has moved to impose economic punishment on Russia at an unprecedented rate since the invasion began. It restricted Russia’s technology imports, blocked Russia’s oil and gas imports from the United States, targeted Russia’s financial reserves, and imposed sanctions on the Kremlin financial elite near Putin, among other means. and.

However, Russia’s economy still maintains important financial ties with the West. For example, Europe was unable to immediately cut off Russia’s energy supply due to its heavy reliance on Russia, and only the United Kingdom banned Russian vessels from entering ports. ..

“At least from the beginning, we’ve seen a surprising and unprecedented adjustment of sanctions from within the world’s largest economy,” said Adam Smith, a sanctions official under the Obama administration. These jurisdictions had their own methods of imposing sanctions and their own vulnerabilities to incidental consequences, with some differences. “

The ongoing atrocities in Ukraine only put pressure on the Biden administration to escalate economic measures against Russia. Russian missiles attacked Ukraine’s military range near the Polish border early Sunday, killing at least 35 people and injuring more than 100. Killed on Sunday, the Washington Post reported on Saturday that a Russian attack struck at least nine Ukrainian medical facilities.

“In reality, Russian troops invading Ukraine can work for many taxes. [international] Companies are paying for Russia’s budget, which is currently paying for murders in Ukraine, “Ukrainian parliamentarian Sviatoslav Jurash said in an interview.

Members of the Ukrainian government have also categorically insisted that Western companies should suspend their financial operations in Russia. Marian Zabrotsky, a member of the Finance Commission of the Ukrainian Parliament, has created a list of US-based companies that are still paying taxes in Russia.

“All US companies need to not only stop investing, but also leave Russia. Of course, they stop investing in Russia. Given the conditions, it’s not a concession.”

Logistic hurdles can also complicate the full implementation of Zelensky’s requirements. Ariel Cohen, a senior researcher at the Eurasian Center of the Atlantic Council and a member of the Council on Foreign Relations, said a ban on Russian vessels at certain ports and routes could simply lead them to “re-launch.” — Change the ship’s registration to another country’s registration. He also said that such a move was “not important in the big picture of Russia’s economic activity.”

“We definitely need to support Ukraine, but if we don’t want a full-scale war with Russia, which could escalate to nuclear weapons, we can’t impose a complete blockade. In terms of these measures, what You need to think about what you can and cannot fly. Cohen said, “For example, what prevents China from intervening and using Chinese ships?”

With economic sanctions, the impact on the country could increase, and shortly after the invasion began, the amount of crude oil and petroleum products spilled from Russia was mainly from about 8 million barrels per day to nearly 6 million barrels per day. Has decreased to. According to Bob McNally, an energy analyst at the Rapidan Energy Group, who served in the George W. Bush administration, the number of traders feared to be sanctioned. The price of a gallon of gas is even higher.

Still, officials have expressed confidence that Americans will blame Putin more than the president for higher prices on pumps.

Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen told reporters on Friday, “The importance of Americans making some sacrifices to maintain the values ​​we value, which are the basis of a peaceful world order. I think you understand. “

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