The United States intends to increase pressure on Russia by implementing additional sanctions, aiming to compel Moscow into difficult choices. The move comes as Russia experiences economic and societal challenges due to the ongoing war in Ukraine and Western sanctions. Amid these developments, Wagner Group leader Yevgeny Prigozhin is presumed dead after a plane crash shortly following a rebellion against Russia’s military leadership.
Economic and Societal Impact:
Russia’s economy and society are showing signs of strain due to the war in Ukraine and Western sanctions. The ruble has dropped to 17-month lows, prompting the central bank to raise interest rates to stabilize it. The US sees these developments as indicators that its pressure tactics are taking effect.
US Plans for Further Sanctions:
The US has consistently imposed sanctions on Russia, and the senior US official stated that more sanctions are in the pipeline to intensify the pressure. The goal is to hold Russia accountable for its actions in Ukraine and compel Russian officials to make tough decisions.
Putin’s Response and Calls for More Pressure:
Russian President Vladimir Putin criticized Western sanctions at an economic summit, referring to them as illegitimate and damaging to free trade and economic norms. Former CIA director David Petraeus advocates for escalating pressure on Russia, including expanding existing sanctions and export controls to weaken Russia’s economy and military capacity.
Potential Targets and Concerns:
Potential targets for future sanctions include Russia’s export of critical minerals, such as uranium. However, such actions may have ramifications for global power grids, given Russia’s significant role in providing nuclear fuel to the US and European utilities.
The US’s intention to impose additional sanctions on Russia reflects its strategy to create leverage and influence over Moscow’s decision-making processes. The unfolding economic challenges and domestic pressures in Russia contribute to the effectiveness of these pressure tactics. Balancing the impact of sanctions on Russia with global concerns and energy security remains a complex issue.