After the Bucha incident, the US may impose sanctions on Putin’s two daughters, and the EU plans to attack Russia’s energy sector

2022-06-19 0 By

The U.S. is expected to announce new sanctions against Russia on Thursday (local time) in coordination with the GROUP of Seven (G7) and the European Union in the wake of the bucha civilian casualties.According to CNN, the new sanctions would ban all new investments in Russia, increase sanctions on Russian financial institutions and state-owned companies, and target Russian government officials and their families.European countries are also considering sanctions on Russia’s energy sector.The set of sanctions, according to one US official, “will be very costly to Russia and will push it further down the path of economic, financial and technological isolation”.The recent “Civilian casualties in Bucha” incident served as the “catalyst” for the latest round of sanctions by the US and The West.Ukrainian media reported on March 3 that a large number of civilian bodies were found after Russian troops withdrew from The city of Bucha, near Kiev, and published photos of the bodies. The Ukrainian government claimed that Russian troops killed the civilians, and called for western countries to impose new sanctions on Russia.Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov on Thursday accused Ukraine of “false attacks” aimed at undermining Moscow’s reputation.As the facts of the Bucha incident remain unclear, western countries led by the US will not only increase sanctions against Russia, but also provide Ukraine with heavy weapons such as long-range air defense system, artillery system and coastal defense system.It remains to be seen how major changes in western countries’ military support to Ukraine will affect the russia-Ukraine situation.Western countries, led by the US, are expected to impose a new round of sanctions on Russia in response to the Bucha incident.The US government’s proposed sanctions against Russian President Vladimir Putin’s daughter and the EU’s proposed sanctions against Russian coal are among the concerns.The Wall Street Journal analyzed that the U.S. sanctions are targeting members of Putin’s inner circle.The Biden administration is expected to impose sanctions on Putin’s two daughters, Maria Putina and Ekaterina Tikhonova, the report said.Sberbank, Russia’s largest state-owned Bank, and Alfa Bank, Russia’s largest privately owned lender, will also be subject to sanctions.U.S. officials said the new measures would prevent any U.S. citizen or entity from dealing with the banks.Another trend worth watching is that the European Union, which has been wavering before, is considering or imposing energy sanctions on Russia after the Bucha incident.Reuters reported that the proposed eu sanctions would include a ban on imports of Russian coal and a ban on Russian ships entering EU ports.However, approval of the measures would require unanimous approval by all 27 EU member states.The move follows concerns in some European countries that a total ban on Russian energy supplies would have a serious economic impact on the continent.In a sign of the EU’s greater resolve, Germany’s foreign minister said the coal ban could be seen as a first step towards a total ban on Russian energy imports.Ukraine, meanwhile, kept up pressure on Europe to take tougher measures, arguing that a European ban on Russian gas imports was essential to a peace deal to end the conflict.Russia is the world’s largest exporter of natural gas and has a vast network of export pipelines.The EU is largely dependent on gas imports, with 155 billion cubic meters of gas imported from Russia in 2021, or about 45 percent of the EU’s gas imports, according to the International Energy Agency.Lithuania, the spearhead of sanctions against Russia, has announced that it will stop importing Russian natural gas, becoming the first eu country to become independent of Russian energy supplies.On April 2, Lithuanian President Leonid Nowseda tweeted that as of April, his country would “no longer have Russian gas…If we can do it, other countries in Europe can do it.”Earlier, the United States and the United Kingdom and other countries also announced sanctions on Russian energy in early March.As a result of such sanctions, Russia’s oil and gas sales revenue in March was 302 billion rubles, 38 percent lower than the finance ministry’s forecast, according to data released on April 5.The United States has announced it will continue to provide security support to Ukraine as it draws up new sanctions against Russia.Among them, the US may “provide Ukraine with heavy weapons such as long-range air defense system, artillery system and coastal defense system”, which was regarded as a “major change” by foreign media.National Security Adviser Jack Sullivan said at a press conference on April 4 that the United States would provide the heavy weapons systems to Ukraine, calling the level and depth of arms and armaments to Ukraine “unprecedented.”France Radio International (RFI) comments on this, after the Boucha incident, the United States and Europe are preparing to introduce a new round of sanctions against Russia, one of the most important, is to strengthen Ukraine’s counter-offensive force.It is also pointed out that the weapons that Sullivan mentioned will be sent to Ukraine are the same weapons that Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky has recently repeatedly requested from the West.For weeks, Mr. Zelensky had pleaded with the West to provide Ukraine with weapons that could strike Russian forces from afar, as well as to defend against Russian air force, navy and long-range artillery.He repeatedly stressed the special need for fighter aircraft, tanks and air defence systems.Separately, the New York Times reported that a U.S. official said on April 1 that the Biden administration would work with Allies to provide Ukraine with Soviet-made tanks to bolster the defenses of the Donbas region in eastern Ukraine.The decision to hand over the tanks came after the Biden administration said it was providing Ukraine with smaller, easily portable “defensive” weapons, the report commented.However, as the conflict has dragged on, the US definition of “defensive” weapons has become more flexible.The State Department said the United States had pledged more than $2.4 billion in security assistance to Ukraine since Mr. Biden took office last year.The United States has spent more than $1.7 billion in military aid to Ukraine since the start of the Russian operation.(This article is from thepaper.cn. 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