On Thursday, President Joe Biden claimed additional sanctions on Russia are aimed at ‘intensifying the agony’ for Russian President Vladimir Putin, whom he referred to as a ‘brute’ during a contentious press conference in Brussels.
Biden admitted that sanctions “never dissuade” military aggression, contradicting one of his own administration’s talking points in the run-up to Russia’s war on Ukraine.
Mr. Biden’s remarks come just hours after the US imposed new sanctions on Russia, targeting 300 politicians, including the majority of Russian parliamentarians, as well as more than 40 defense businesses.
The decision was lauded by the White House as a measure to block Russian efforts to fund its attacks in Ukraine, according to a White House fact sheet. However, Mr. Biden admitted to reporters following the NATO meeting in Belgium that they don’t really work.
He stated, “Sanctions never deter.” “Maintaining sanctions, intensifying the suffering, and demonstrating why I requested this NATO summit is to ensure that after a month, we will be able to sustain what we’re doing, not just next month, but for the rest of the year.” That’s what’ll put a stop to him.
Biden also chastised the reporter for questioning why he believes Russian President Vladimir Putin will alter direction as a result of the penalties announced on Thursday.
“Sanctions aren’t a solution in and of themselves. They’re there for the greater good. And the goal is to dissuade and prevent,” Daleep Singh, the deputy national security adviser, said last month.
They’re intended to deter and prevent a large-scale invasion of Ukraine, which may include the seizure of major cities like Kyiv. They’re designed to avoid widespread human suffering that could result in tens of thousands of deaths in a fight.
Last month, Vice President Kamala Harris claimed that the penalties would have a “significant” deterrence effect, adding that the United States’ partners agreed.
At a White House press briefing in February, National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan stated that sanctions would prevent a Ukrainian invasion. Mr. Sullivan stated, “The president believes penalties are intended to deter.” “And in order for them to operate — to deter — they must be put up in such a way that if Putin acts, the costs would be enforced.”