White House: Additional sanctions on Russia could come ‘at any moment’

February 24, 2022

A White House national security official said on Wednesday, February 23, that the Biden Administration could levy additional sanctions on Russia “at any moment”—another sign that America is willing to further punish the Kremlin as the situation evolves in Ukraine, reports The Hill.

White House Deputy National Security Adviser Daleep Singh argued on CNN’s early morning talk show, New Day, that the sanctions imposed on Tuesday by the United States were significant—noting that they hit major Russian financial institutions, several Russian oligarchs, and Russian sovereign debt.

“These costs are going to escalate from here. The two largest banks in the Russian economy are $750 billion in assets under management; that’s ten times larger,” Singh said. “Our export controls, which can deny all of the critical technology inputs to Russia, have yet to be unveiled. We can unveil those at any moment.” 

He added, “Russia’s already feeling the pain. … This is all because of the signaling of sanctions, and now we’re starting to deliver.”

Singh, who appeared in the White House briefing room on Tuesday, argued that sanctions are not meant to be used simply to inflict pain for their own sake, but to deter and prevent Russia from further invading Ukraine.

“Sometimes I wonder if there’s almost a bloodlust out there for sanctions as an end to themselves,” Singh said, pointing to media questions about why the Administration has gradually unveiled sanctions. “But let me just be really clear: We did hit hard yesterday.”

 President Biden and European allies on Tuesday unveiled an initial round of sanctions after Russian President Vladimir Putin recognized two separatist-held areas of eastern Ukraine as independent republics, setting the stage for Moscow to provide military support to Russian-backed separatists in the area.

Biden expressed concern that Putin’s actions were a precursor to a larger invasion of Ukraine, and he vowed that the United States and its allies were united and willing to impose additional sanctions.

Germany rescinded its certification on Tuesday for the Nord Stream 2 pipeline that would carry natural gas from Russia to Germany; and the pipeline could be a target for additional sanctions down the road.

Research contact: @thehill