Biden and Putin: A crucial video call for world peace
The U.S. president held meetings with different European leaders to discuss possible sanctions in a scenario where Russia invades Ukraine.
While tensions increase on the border between Russia and Ukraine, where President Vladimir Putin has deployed more than 94,000 men and is increasing the capacity for war in the area, on Tuesday, Dec. 7, U.S. President Joe Biden plans to meet via video call with his Russian counterpart to discuss the negative consequences the Kremlin would face if it decides to launch an attack on its neighbor.
Some analysts point out that the invasion is imminent, but Putin's government is not interested in sanctions nor is the United States interested in entering a scenario of armed conflict with Russia. On Monday, Dec. 6, Biden spoke with his allies in Europe to propose a series of possible sanctions against the Russian government if it decides to invade Ukrainian soil, which would be shared on Dec. 7 in a video call between the two leaders.
According to the White House, Biden's administration is prepared to do significant damage to Russia's economy if the country takes action against Ukraine. Although they did not specify which sanctions they were contemplating, they did indicate that these would be coordinated with European partners to be applied collectively.
Among the sanctions being weighed against Putin's government is talk of measures specifically directed at the inner circle of the Russian president, as well as against Russian energy producers that would be denied access to debt markets in the event there is an invasion. It is even being contemplated to disconnect Russia from the international SWIFT payment system used by banks around the world and what local banks depend on.
Other targets of the sanctions against Russia, whose sovereign debt would be affected, would be the main oligarchs of that country, who would see their freedom to travel limited by seeing reduced access to U.S. banking systems and credit cards. They would be the worst economic sanctions ever imposed on a country, not counting North Korea and Iran.
Putin, who has also anticipated the call and opposed NATO exercises near the Russian border, will seek a guarantee that the organization will not expand to the east, including Ukraine. If they do not get a positive response, the Russian government is very likely to go to the last measures available, including war.
According to a CNN report, Russian forces are positioned along the border with Ukraine and prepared to sustain a prolonged conflict should Moscow decide to invade.