A Russian invasion into Ukraine will be answered by the US with severe economic sanctions. That is the main message of US President Biden in his conversation with Russian President Putin, international news agencies are reporting on the basis of initiates.
The sanctions would affect Putins confidants and the Russian energy sector. According to the initiates, Biden can also put on the table a special and far-reaching option: the closure of Russia from the international payment system SWIFT, thus complicating Russian trade with the rest of the world.
SWIFT is a crucial infrastructure for banks and financial institutions and is used to send and receive transactions. Russia, too, is highly dependent on this system and would be economically severely affected in the event of a disconnection of SWIFT.
However, Russia has developed an alternative to SWIFT, where Russian financial institutions can resort to in the event of an emergency. That system, which mainly provides domestic payments, was created to be less dependent on Western payment systems.
Kremlin spokesman Peskov has dismissed rumors of a possible disconnection of SWIFT as “media hysteria”. He also calls warnings about a possible Russian invasion of Ukraine “unfounded”.
Tomorrow, Biden and Putin will talk to each other via a video link. The US Secretary Blinken for Foreign Affairs and his Russian colleague Lavrov succeeded in failing to get their conversation last week in Stockholm out of the air in the cold.
Putin has repeatedly asked for guarantees that NATO is not expanding further east or placing weapons in Ukraine. According to the US, Ukraine itself is about a future entry into the military alliance. The West is currently mainly supporting the Ukrainian army financially.
However, the White House would consider stationing additional troops in NATO neighboring countries of Ukraine in the event of a further escalation, reports a CNN reporter.
Ukrainian army is strong enough
The Ukrainian armed forces can reject a Russian invasion, President Zelensky said today during the celebration of the National Armed Forces Day. “Our troops will defend freedom and sovereignty against the Russian attacker. The army is insured and strong.”
In honor of the national day, two originally American naval ships were received in port city Odessa. In Kharkiv, Lviv and Kiev, among others, there were military ceremonies to honor the armed forces, killed soldiers and veterans.