US reminds it's prepared to impose sanctions on Russia
The West is waving the sanctions flag in the face of Russia again after accusing it of destabilizing the situation in Ukraine, in addition to planning to invade its western neighbor.
The United States revealed that it was ready to impose export controls on Russia in the event of any escalation in between Russia and Ukraine.
A senior US official said Tuesday that, in addition to financial sanctions, which "have immediate and visible effects on the day they are implemented, we are also prepared to impose novel export controls."
In light of imposing sanctions on Russia, several senior US officials said Tuesday the sanctions against Russia the US has in the pipeline would go into full effect immediately rather than imposed gradually.
"The gradualism [of the sanctions] is out; this time we start at the top," the officials said, revealing that Washington has been preparing sanctions with consequences more severe consequences than those imposed in 2014.
Fall of Russia ruble an indication
According to senior US officials, the latest decline in the value of the Russian ruble shows the significance of economic sanctions that Washington and its allies are ready to impose if things spiral with Ukraine.
"Deepening sell-off in the Russian market, its borrowing cost, and the value of its currency" are an indication of the severity of the Western sanctions, the officials added.
The hit that the Russian market took "reflect[s] the severity of the economic consequences we can and will impose on the Russian economy," they claimed.
Defense, aerospace, AI, quantum computing technology are next
After imposing economic sanctions and limiting Russian exports, the United States and its western allies revealed they were preparing to target Russia's defense, aerospace industry, and its developments of artificial intelligence and quantum computing technology.
If the Russian-Ukrainian situation escalates, Washington and its allies would target all the aforementioned Russian sectors, a senior US administration official asserted.
"The export control options we are considering along with our allies and partners would hit Putin's strategic ambitions to industrialize his economy quite hard," the official said.
It would also impair areas of importance to Putin, the official noted, "whether it is artificial intelligence, quantum computing, defense, aerospace, or other key sectors."
Despite this not being the complete list, all options "are very much on the table," the official declared.
US Democratic senators had announced they would present a new Russia sanctions bill that would bring "severe costs" to the Russian economy in the event of an invasion of Ukraine.
Read: What do the new US sanctions bill on Russia target?
Additionally, the EU had officially extended the economic sanctions against Russia until July 31, 2022, citing the "situation in Ukraine" and accusing Russia of "destabilizing" it.
West concerned over Ukraine
Mounting security concerns over Ukraine come as the West accuses Russia of planning an invasion of its western neighbor despite Moscow dismissing these allegations.
Russia insists that it has no intention of attacking any country, seeing the Western accusations as a pretext to deploy more NATO military equipment close to Russia's borders.
Moscow has been demanding a written commitment that Ukraine would never be able to join NATO and that the alliance would not place any strategic military equipment in certain countries in the region surrounding Russia, which was addressed in the Geneva talks between the two parties, but the West seems "reluctant," the Kremlin said.