The paper relied on conversations with US and European officials, which revealed details of possible sanctions following the Russian invasion. The United States is deliberately leaking plans to influence Russian President Vladimir Putin. Then he knows what obstacles he will face.
The United States and other Western nations are deeply concerned about the concentration of Russian troops on the Ukrainian border. They fear that Moscow is considering occupying an Eastern European country. The list of possible sanctions includes the arming of anti-Russian guerrillas in Ukraine, the newspaper writes, if it actually comes to an invasion.
Washington is also said to have consulted with allies on the possibility of cutting off major Russian financial institutions from international payments. Those plans have now been leaked ahead of summit meetings to prevent further expansion.
Russia is in talks with the United States and NATO this week. Moscow, among others, wants to guarantee that neighboring Ukraine will not join the alliance. After the fall of the Communist Soviet Union, many former Soviet powers joined NATO, much to Russia’s chagrin.
The United States does not believe in the successful outcome of the forthcoming talks. According to The New York Times, ambassadors fear that the Russians may report that their concerns have not been adequately addressed. It would be a justification for military action.
The Americans have been watching closely to see the impact of the sanctions imposed on Russia in 2014. This happened after the Ukrainian peninsula annexed Crimea. The White House later decided that the move would hurt the Russian economy, but that Putin was forced to step down.
This method should be different. An insider called the planned blockade “the most impactful, quickest response we did not choose in 2014.”