Biden Threatens Putin with Personal Sanctions over Ukraine

As Western leaders are stepping up military preparations and making plans to protect Europe from a potential energy supply shock, US President Joe Biden threatened on Tuesday he would consider targeting Russian President Vladimir Putin with personal sanctions if Russia invades Ukraine.

President Biden said that if the estimated 100,000 soldiers Russia has massed near the border were to move into Ukraine, it would change the world as being the largest invasion since World War Two.

Following the several US-Russia talks rounds over Ukraine that failed to reach any significant breakthrough and continuing warnings that Moscow would face economic consequences, President Biden upped the ante on Tuesday by saying Putin could face sanctions personally.

Although direct US personal sanctions on foreign leaders are rare, they’re not unprecedented since other world leaders, such as Venezuela’s Nicolás Maduro, Syria’s Bashar al-Assad, and Libya’s Muammar Gaddafi, have faced them in the past.

Speaking to reporters, President Biden was asked if he would see himself imposing sanctions on Putin directly if Russia invaded Ukraine. “Yes,” he responded. “I would see that.”

Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov was fast to react, claiming that the US calls for “anti-Putin” sanctions are not painful but are politically destructive.

Peskov also noted, commenting on calls for freezing Putin’s assets, that the Russian President keeps money in the Rossiya Bank, which is already under sanctions.

Earlier this month, US President Joe Biden did not rule out imposing sanctions targeting President Putin personally. This question was also discussed in the US Senate.

The trending “anti-Russian hysteria” in the West has been repeatedly slammed by Moscow which repeatedly claims it has no plans to invade, stressing that, on the other hand, NATO’s military build-up close to its borders poses a threat to Russia’s national security.

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