US and European allies to escalate sanctions on Russia

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The White Home has signalled that the US and its European allies intend to escalate sanctions on Russia this week because it warned the conflict in Ukraine would “not finish simply or quickly”.

Joe Biden is about to announce the measures throughout his go to to Europe, which begins on Wednesday in Brussels, with the president scheduled to satisfy Nato companions and attend European Council and G7 summits, based on the highest White Home nationwide safety official.

“The president will be a part of our companions in imposing additional sanctions on Russia and tightening the prevailing sanctions to crack down on evasion and guarantee sturdy enforcement,” mentioned Jake Sullivan, US nationwide safety adviser, throughout a press convention on Tuesday. He declined to supply particulars of the measures.

“This warfare is not going to finish simply or quickly,” mentioned Sullivan, including that Biden’s journey will goal to make sure European allies proceed to be united by sending “a robust message that we’re ready and dedicated to this for so long as it takes”.

The president will focus on longer-term changes to Nato’s presence in Europe’s japanese flank in addition to joint actions on enhancing the area’s vitality safety and lowering its dependence on Russian fuel.

Biden will even journey to Poland, the place he’ll meet with troops deployed there to guard Nato territory, in addition to specialists concerned within the humanitarian response, Sullivan mentioned. The US will even announce extra help for refugees fleeing the preventing in Ukraine, he added.

Biden’s journey comes as Russian troop numbers dipped for the primary time beneath 90 per cent of the 150,000 it had amassed on the border of Ukraine earlier than the invasion, a senior US defence official mentioned on Tuesday.

Russian forces are battling communication, logistics and gasoline, the official added, whereas some troops have been evacuated after affected by frost chunk as a result of they lacked correct chilly climate gear.

The Russian and Ukrainian army are engaged in fierce preventing, notably close to Mariupol, a strategically-located port metropolis that Russia is now shelling from the Sea of Azov, based on the official.

Nevertheless, Ukrainian forces are pushing to retake territory in some locations, notably within the south close to Kherson, the Pentagon mentioned on Tuesday.

“We have now seen indications that the Ukrainians are going a bit extra on the offence now,” mentioned John Kirby, Pentagon press secretary.

As Russia’s warfare with Ukraine enters its fourth week, Washington is pushing to crack down on sanctions evasion and stamp out makes an attempt by international locations to weaken or circumvent the measures already in place.

“We have now utilized an unlimited quantity of financial stress and to be able to maintain and escalate that stress over time . . . a giant a part of it’s about efficient enforcement,” Sullivan mentioned.

He added that Russia’s invasion has pushed the US and Europe nearer collectively somewhat than dividing them, and predicted that Russia can be unable to totally “subjugate” Ukraine because the warfare grinds on.

“Though Russia might take extra territory in these brutal army operations, it’s going to by no means take the nation,” Sullivan mentioned.

The White Home additionally introduced that Biden’s press secretary Jen Psaki would not be travelling to Europe with the president after testing constructive for Covid-19 on Tuesday.

Psaki and Biden had two conferences on Monday, which she described on Twitter as “socially-distanced”, including that the president is just not thought of an in depth contact. That is her second constructive check in 5 months.

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