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New sanctions against Russian Federation: support for Ukraine and US intransigence

In the course of the escalating situation in the east of Ukraine, rumors have appeared about a possible military invasion of Russia. The Page has examined whether Ukraine is ready for a possible military invasion, why Russia is building up troops on the border, and what new sanctions the United States has imposed on April 15, 2021.

New sanctions against Russia

US President Joe Biden has signed a decree imposing new sanctions against the Russian Federation. They are being imposed against 16 individuals and 16 organizations, and Washington is also expelling 10 employees of the Russian diplomatic mission in Washington.

The decree has banned American banks from buying Russian bonds from the Bank of Russia, the Ministry of Finance, and the Wealth Fund. The directive gives the US government the power to extend sovereign debt sanctions against Russia if necessary.

At the same time, the Treasury, in partnership with the European Union, the United Kingdom, Australia, and Canada, has imposed sanctions on eight individuals and entities connected with the ongoing Russian occupation and repression in Crimea.

"The transatlantic community unanimously supports Ukraine against unilateral provocations by Russia along the Contact Line in eastern Ukraine, in occupied Crimea and along the borders of Ukraine, and also agrees on the need to immediately stop Russia from building up military power and inflammatory rhetoric," the White House stated.

As the US Chargé d’Affaires, a.i. Kristina A. Kvien told the news media Fakty ICTV, the United States fully supports Ukraine and wants to help achieve peace in Donbas. The Biden administration fully supports the territorial integrity of Ukraine within internationally recognized borders, and will not back down from it. In turn, Russia must stop its aggression against Ukraine and work within the Minsk and Normandy formats using a constructive rather than aggressive approach.

"To be honest, the problem with the peace process in Donbas is Russia," she said.

Will Ukraine be able to repel the invasion

"Both Ukraine and its partners in the region are doing everything they can to strengthen their positions. If an invasion occurs, they are now in their best position. And we are talking not only about their troops, but also about the troops of their partners in the region," the Voice of America quotes the commander of the American troops in Europe, General Tod Walters.

According to him, Ukraine will definitely be able to repel the invasion over time.

Earlier, President Volodymyr Zelenskyy said in an interview with CNN that he considered the Russian invasion of Ukraine to be quite possible. Ukraine is preparing for this. The country has known since 2014 that there can be a Russian invasion every day.

"They want the West to be afraid of Russia," Zelenskyy told the Time.

Indeed, if it was a full-scale invasion, the Russian troops would probably have made more efforts to sustain the surprise element. Instead, they act differently: they spread footage of the military build-up on social media, dispatched warships to threaten Ukraine from the sea, and have gathered tens of thousands of service personnel at the border—the most since Russia's annexation of Crimea seven years ago.

"They are conducting a sizable deployment, and in a manner intended to be visible, but this so far does not appear to be the sort of force size one would expect for an invasion," the FP cites Michael Kofman, a senior research scientist with CNA.

Russia has warned the US that support for Ukraine could escalate into a wider war.

"What they want to do is raise the temperature just enough to show that the West is hesitant in its support for Ukraine, that they don't really see us as a partner... This is a kind of test," Zelenskyy added.

However, the CIA believes that the build-up of Russian troops could lead to "separate military incursions."

According to CIA Director William Burns, the accumulation of forces has reached the point where, among other things, it can become the basis for separate military incursions.

Burns stresses that the troop build-up on the border with Ukraine may be an attempt to intimidate the Ukrainian authorities and "send a signal to the United States."

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