US Sen. Menendez Preparing 'Mother of All Sanctions' on Russia in Case of Ukraine Invasion
WASHINGTON (Sputnik) - US Senate Foreign Relations Committee Chair Robert Menendez said on Tuesday that he is preparing the most severe sanctions ever imposed on Russia if the latter invades Ukraine.
"I want to be crystal clear to those listening to this hearing in Moscow, Kiev, and other capitals around the world: a Russian invasion will trigger devastating economic sanctions, the likes of which we have never seen before," Menendez said, adding that he suggested including such options in the NDAA last month.
"The Russian bank sector would be wiped out. Sovereign debt would be blocked. Russia Would be removed from the Swift payment system. Sectorial sanctions would cripple the Russian economy. Putin himself as well as his inner circle would loose access to bank accounts in the West. Russia would be effectively cut off and isolated from the international economic system. Let me be clear these are not run-off-the-mill sanctions, what is being discussed is at the maximum end of the spectrum or as I have called it 'Mother of all sanctions,'" he stated.
On Monday, CIA Director William Burns said that the United States has observed a build-up of Russian troops near Ukraine, where they are possibly being placed to "act in a very sweeping way." In addition, he said that Moscow allegedly has "plans underway to destabilize Ukraine" by other means.
Moscow has repeatedly denied accusations of aggressive actions, saying that it does not threaten anyone and does not intend to attack anyone. Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov has also noted that Russia is moving troops within its own territory and at its discretion. In addition, the Kremlin has stressed that all statements about alleged Russia's aggression are being used as an excuse to deploy more NATO military equipment near Russian borders.
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