We’ve seen that Joe Biden seems to be completely confused when it comes to sanctions on Russia for its war against Ukraine.
First, he claimed that his threat of sanctions (without imposing any) would deter Vladimir Putin. Indeed, Kamala Harris and other Biden team officials said deterrence was the point.
BIDEN, JAN 19: Sanctions will deter Putin because "he's never seen sanctions like the ones I promised"
BIDEN, FEB 24: “No one expected the sanctions to prevent anything from happening"
BIDEN, MAR 24: "Sanctions never deter" pic.twitter.com/N4Hk9cEJSY
— RNC Research (@RNCResearch) March 29, 2022
But then after Russia invaded, Biden tried to claim that they never thought sanctions would deter Putin, that “sanctions never deter.” Not only did that conflict with what they had previously said, but it also doesn’t make any sense. If they don’t deter, then why are you imposing them? The problem with Biden was he didn’t want to admit that his posture pre-invasion had failed, so instead, he came up with the ridiculous posture that “sanctions don’t deter.”
Although, maybe it’s that they don’t deter when they hold no real teeth. We’ve heard a lot about all the sanctions that have been put on Russia, and a lot of companies have indeed pulled out of dealing with Russia. But Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky criticized the sanctions , saying they weren’t strong enough — that the SWIFT sanction, for example, only involved seven Russian banks when there are more than 300 banks. The Russians had a lot of other options to evade sanctions.
Then during a new interview with Secretary of State Antony Blinken on “Meet the Press,” Chuck Todd raised questions about the effectiveness of the sanctions, saying that the ruble had been “restrengthened,” and while he acknowledged that there was likely some manipulation in the number, Todd’s implication was that because some in Europe were still buying Russian oil and gas, the Russians were skirting the real effect of sanctions. Todd asked Blinken if there was any way to tighten the sanctions. Blinken disputed that the sanctions weren’t working, claiming that the Russian economy had contracted by 10 percent.
According to the “Meet the Press” transcript, Todd also raised the question of how potential negotiations might proceed, asking whether Putin would be left in power or given an advantage, after what he had done.
You have just described a situation, and Richard Engel was telling me, that there are people in Ukraine going, “Hey, we’ve got Putin in as weak of a spot as we’ve had him in a long time. This is actually not the time to suddenly negotiate a way for him to get out of this.”
So nobody wants to see more war. At the same time, I don’t think a lot of people, including the president of the United States, want to see Putin remain in power after this. So can we really end this with giving Putin some sort of gain in the Donbass?
Blinken said that it depends upon Ukraine, in terms of what they would accept, and that what happens to Putin depends on the Russian people.
Todd then asked about sanctions again and whether Zelensky would have the “ability to negotiate sanctions relief with Putin.”
That’s when Blinken said something that was immediately picked up and attacked as weak.
The entire international community that’s come together to impose those sanctions on Russia will be looking to see what Ukraine is doing and what it wants to do. And if it concludes that it can bring this war to an end, stop the death and destruction, and continue to assert its independence and it sovereignty, and ultimately that requires the lifting of sanctions, of course we want to have that.
The purpose of the sanctions, Chuck, is not to be there indefinitely. It’s to change Russia’s conduct. And if as a result of negotiations the sanctions, the pressure, the support for Ukraine, we achieve just that, then at some point the sanctions will go away. But that is profoundly up to Russia and what it does going forward.
On a day when you had reports of citizens being found shot, with their hands tied behind their backs, and stories about torture chambers, the comment about possibly lifting sanctions didn’t go over well.
This is just appalling. The Biden administration is weak and stuck in a terrible appeasement mindset.
Lifting sanctions after Russia has butchered large numbers of Ukrainian civilians is insane. https://t.co/9sdWNf6OOP
— Nile Gardiner (@NileGardiner) April 3, 2022
Chuck Todd then questioned former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton about what Blinken had said.
You heard Secretary [of State] Blinken essentially say, “look, sanctions relief could happen, it all depends on the behavior of Russia.”
Can we really live in a world where Putin’s let back into the New World Order?
Whoops. There are those words again. We saw Joe Biden drop them a couple of weeks ago in the context of this war as well. Are they now acknowledging it’s no longer a conspiracy? Why are we suddenly hearing that about this war?
"You heard Secretary [of State] Blinken essentially say, 'look, sanctions relief could happen'," Chuck Todd said. "It all depends on the behavior of Russia. Can we really live in a world where Putin's let back into the New World Order?"
Here was Hillary Clinton's response.👀 pic.twitter.com/3w9pBX4L5m
— Kyle Becker (@kylenabecker) April 3, 2022
Clinton said she wouldn’t let them back into things like the G20 (it isn’t up to her). Notice that no one is talking about cutting off the Russians from the Iran Deal. The rest of her response was interesting — it was a subtle dig at Joe Biden because she listed some of the things that Biden hasn’t done — including cutting off more banks from the SWIFT system.
She doesn’t want to respond as to what the future would hold for Russia, and neither does Blinken.
Of course, Todd had Hillary Clinton there and didn’t bother to ask her about the FEC fining her campaign and the DNC last week for their lying about the Steele dossier.
Story cited here.
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