Fri, August 19, 2022

The West Announces New Sanctions, With More On The Way

US and Japan

On Tuesday, the United States and Japan imposed further sanctions on Russia for sending soldiers into separatist areas of eastern Ukraine. They also threatened to go much farther if Moscow launches an all-out invasion of its neighbour. In one of Europe’s biggest security crises in decades, the United States, the European Union, the United Kingdom, Australia, Canada, and Japan declared preparations to target banks and elites. Meanwhile, Germany delayed a major gas pipeline project from Russia.

Russian President Vladimir Putin became enraged by Ukraine’s long-term goal of joining NATO. It claims Ukraine as historic Russian territory. Moreover, Putin amassed more than 150,000 troops near Ukraine’s borders, according to US estimates. Furthermore, he has ordered soldiers into the breakaway Donetsk and Luhansk regions to “keep the peace.”

Invasion of Ukraine

The US dismissed the rationale as “nonsense.”

On Tuesday, US President Joe Biden remarked, “To put it simply, Russia has proclaimed that it is carving off a large portion of Ukraine. We’re on the verge of a Russian invasion.”

According to US firm Maxar, satellite footage over the previous 24 hours reveals multiple additional military and equipment deployments in western Russia. There are also more than 100 vehicles at a tiny airstrip in southern Belarus, which borders Ukraine. One soldier was killed and six others were injured in 96 episodes of pro-Russian separatist shelling. This occurred in the east during the previous 24 hours, according to the Ukrainian military. Separatist troops deployed heavy artillery, mortars, and Grad rocket launchers, according to the report.

As weeks of frenetic diplomacy failed to settle the problem, US Secretary of State Antony Blinken and French Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian both cancelled separate scheduled talks with Russian counterpart Sergei Lavrov on Tuesday.

On Tuesday, Germany blocked the $11 billion Nord Stream 2 pipeline. Gazprom (MCX: GAZP) a Russian state-owned gas giant, operates this pipeline.  The pipeline was built and is awaiting German permission to relieve pressure on European customers who are experiencing record energy costs. But detractors, including the US, have long said it will deepen Europe’s energy dependency on Russia. As a result, gas prices in Europe will rise.

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