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Tensions Escalate as US Threatens ‘Mother of All Sanctions’ in Face of Russian Aggression

UN Linda Thomas Greenfield (Via Linda Thomas Greenfield/Twitter)

The United States has stepped up its diplomatic and financial pressure on Russia, vowing to take a firm stance against Moscow’s massing of troops near Ukraine and alleged plans for an invasion. US Ambassador to the UN Linda Thomas Greenfield stated that the Security Council will press Russia hard to discuss its military buildup and the threat of an attack, emphasizing that the US will not be “distracted by their propaganda.” Greenfield’s remarks come as lawmakers on Capitol Hill are finalizing an agreement on “the mother of all sanctions” against Russia in the event of an invasion. The US has warned that Russia’s actions will have severe consequences, including significant economic sanctions and increased lethal aid to Ukraine’s military.

Ukraine’s Ambassador to the US, Oksana Markarova, echoed the sentiments of senior foreign policy figures, urging President Joe Biden to link the case to Russia’s actions, warning that Russian President Vladimir Putin is bent on waging an “attack on democracy”, not just on a single country. Markarova’s remarks highlight the broader implications of Russia’s actions, which have long been a source of tension between Russia and the West.

Russia has massed an estimated 100,000 troops near the border with Ukraine, with Western warnings increasingly strong that Moscow intends to invade. In response, Russia demands that NATO promise never to allow Ukraine to join the alliance, and to stop the deployment of NATO weapons near Russian borders and roll back its forces from Eastern Europe. The US and European countries have threatened significant sanctions in the event of a Russian invasion, including actions against Russian banks that could severely undermine the Russian economy and increased lethal aid to Ukraine’s military.

UN Linda Thomas Greenfield (Via Linda Thomas Greenfield/Twitter)

The head of Russia’s Security Council, Nikolai Patrushev, rejected Western warnings about an invasion, stating that the statements are “completely ridiculous.” Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba countered, urging Russia to engage in diplomatic dialogue and pull back its military forces. The US and Russia have been at odds over Ukraine for years, with Russia resenting NATO’s expansion, particularly granting membership to countries that were once part of the Soviet Union or were in its sphere of influence.

The US has made it clear that it will not tolerate a Russian invasion, and has warned that legislators are preparing to impose “the mother of all sanctions” if Russia launches an attack. Many Republican members are pushing for the US to impose tough penalties immediately instead of waiting for Russia to send new troops into Ukraine. The Biden administration and some Democratic legislators argue that imposing sanctions now would remove any deterrent to invasion. As tensions continue to escalate, the international community waits with bated breath to see how the situation will unfold.

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