US sanctions likely to spare Russian energy for fear of impact on dollar – media
Energy embargoes are unlikely to appear on the list of sanctions being drawn up by Washington to target Russia should its troops invade Ukraine, CNN has reported amid rumors in the Western press about Moscow attacking Kiev.
An unnamed government official told the network in an article published on Thursday that President Joe Biden’s administration is reviewing penalties “in such a way where it is a menu of options.” However, the measures will be staggered, the official said.
Commenting on whether the vital energy sector will be hit, the source revealed that this would only be a last resort due to the impact it would have on the global economy and the cost of gasoline in America.
“This is the more extreme option if it becomes necessary… you always want to keep things in your back pocket,” the official said.
The report comes after Under Secretary of State Victoria Nuland hinted at the possibility of completely cutting Moscow off from the global financial system in the event that it launches an offensive against neighboring Ukraine.
“What we are talking about would amount to essentially isolating Russia completely from the global financial system, with all the fallout that would entail for Russian businesses, for the Russian people, for their ability to work and travel and trade,” Nuland said on Tuesday.
The official made the comments shortly after a two-hour video call between Russian President Vladimir Putin and his American counterpart, in which Biden warned that “the US and [its] Allies would respond with strong economic and other measures” in the event of military escalation.
Moscow has repeatedly rejected accusations from Western officials and media outlets that it is mulling an offensive against Kiev. Kremlin press secretary Dmitry Peskov blasted the accusations as groundless, describing them as “hysteria” whipped up in the Anglophone and Ukrainian media.
He had previously insisted that Russia poses no threat, and “the movement of our armed forces on our own territory should be of no concern to anyone.”