Biden, lawmakers warn Putin of tough sanctions on Ukraine

“The Russian banking sector would be wiped out,” Menendez said. “Sectoral sanctions would cripple the Russian economy. Putin himself and his relatives would lose access to bank accounts in the West. Russia would effectively be cut off and isolated from the international economic system.

“Let’s be clear: these are not ordinary sanctions,” Menendez continued. “What is being discussed is at the maximum end of this spectrum, or as I have called it, the mother of all penalties. And I hope we can come together in a bipartisan way to find a legislative path soon to be followed so that we can get there. “

Several senators, including Jim Risch, member of the ranking of foreign relations, R-Idaho, Sens. Mitt Romney, R-Utah, Johnson, R-Wis., Benjamin L. Cardin, D-Md., And Chris Van Hollen, D-Md. , said at the hearing that they wanted to be associated with Menendez’s threat of sanctions against Russia.

“Vladimir Putin must understand that there is going to be a strong, unified and severe response if he decides to invade Ukraine,” said Van Hollen, while urging the administration to publicly reconsider the sanctions that Russia risks . “I firmly believe that sanctions are actually more useful and effective when you set them up ahead of time and tell a foreign leader what the consequences are if you take those steps, rather than trying to reverse them after the fact.” through sanctions. “

One of the areas of disagreement between lawmakers and the administration concerns the strength with which to oppose the opening of the Nord Stream 2 pipeline, which would transport Russian natural gas submarine to Germany and other parties. from Europe. The new pipeline would deprive Ukraine of much-needed revenue by allowing gas to flow through its territory into Europe.

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