The sanctions being prepared by the US and the EU in the event of a resumption of aggression by Russia against Ukraine may not be identical, but they will be painful for Moscow, said Victoria Nuland, US Deputy Secretary of State on Tuesday. Russia is now taking “counter-de-escalation” measures, she added.
When asked during a State Department press conference about Europe’s potential concerns about the negative effects of anti-Russian sanctions and a possible cut-off from Russian gas supplies, Nuland said that is “firmly convinced” that the EU, together with the US, will impose severe restrictions in the event of aggression by the Kremlin.
We have been working on this for 2.5 months at every level and we have a broad consensus on the type of intensive financial measures we will have to take, as well as in the context of export restrictions the diplomat said. The US can take one set of measures and Europe and other allies can take parallel steps that may not be exactly the same, but also painful – she added, explaining that the reason for any differences is a different level of exposure to the effects of sanctions.
Nuland also criticized the Senate’s vote on additional sanctions on Nord Stream 2 planned for this week. As she said, the draft proposed by Republican Senator Ted Cruz will not affect the fate of the gas pipeline, and may undermine transatlantic unity. The official also stressed that the new German government has confirmed the commitment of Angela Merkel’s cabinet that NS2 will be suspended in the event of a Russian invasion.
The representative of the administration also commented on CNN reports that Russia was conducting military exercises on the border with Ukraine. If this was confirmed, she said it would mean “a step in the opposite direction to de-escalation.”
When we talk about de-escalation, we are talking about the return of this mass of soldiers from the borders of Ukraine, we are talking about serious involvement in negotiations and the end of massive disinformation and plans for internal destabilization (of Ukraine) Nuland said.