(Washington) A US president’s speech is rarely expected: Joe Biden will address the U.S. on Thursday, announcing massive retaliation against the Russian economy just hours after Vladimir Putin launched an invasion of Ukraine.
Released at 9:05 p.m.
In the first night’s reaction to the Russian president’s announcement that a “military operation” would be launched against Ukraine, the US president denounced the press release as “a premeditated war that will cause catastrophic human suffering and loss.”
Joe Biden, who met with his national security advisers in the famed “situation room” on Thursday morning, was due to speak on Thursday about the “consequences” of the announcement for Russia – at noon, according to the White House.
He had previously met his G7 colleagues at 9am.
Joe Biden promised that “the world will account for Moscow.”
In response to Vladimir Putin’s decision to recognize the independence of separatist territories in eastern Ukraine, the United States has already released the first act of economic retaliation on Tuesday and then on Wednesday.
The Americans want to undermine Russia in the short term, push the country into a kind of financial autonomy, and undermine a country’s long-term economic diversification plans that depend on hydrocarbon sales.
When tapping into the wallets of Russian oligarchs who invest their immense wealth abroad and spend lavishly in resorts around the world.
Already approved by Washington: The company responsible for operating the North Stream 2 gas pipelines — a $ 11 billion investment — is now rusting “under the sea,” using words dear to the US administration.
But two Russian public banks (Vnesheconombank and Promsvyazbank), and five oligarchs close to the Russian president, have found their assets frozen and have been barred from any transactions with US companies.
The Americans have already decided to cut off the Russian government’s access to the international sovereign credit market.
But Joe Biden assured that the world’s leading economic power, which has rejected military intervention in Ukraine, still has dry bullets.
And his spokesman Jen Zhaki issued a statement on Wednesday: “There are other financial institutions, for example the two largest Russian banks, which are not part of the sanctions already announced.”
In this case, Sberbank and VTB Bank, the two companies together “have assets of $ 750 billion, half of the Russian banking system,” Foreign Ministry spokesman Netflix recalled on Wednesday.
The US president has also stated that he does not rule out financial sanction for Vladimir Putin and that he is considering banning the export of US technologies to Russia.
The United States has hinted that it could cut off Russia’s access to the dollar, the main currency of world trade.
Commentators speculate on the use of a major financial weapon, but cannot be unleashed by the Americans alone: banning Russian banks from using the essential Swift messaging system in the global fund, which would completely isolate the Bank of Russia.
However, Washington must mobilize Europeans to do this. In retaliation for Tehran’s nuclear program, the United States has already cut off access to SWIFT from some Iranian banks in the past, but attacking the Russian banking system will take on a completely different dimension.
Beyond the technical details of sanctions, this text will be an important moment for Joe Biden nationally and internationally.
Instead of declaring a sacred union in the face of Russian military aggression, some Republican opponents have chosen to attack the administration of the crisis around Ukraine by Joe Biden, accusing him of being too cowardly in the face of Vladimir Putin.
Without succeeding in ousting the Russian president, the president has bet on full sharing of the threat of US military intelligence and sanctions.
U.S. allies will also measure the commitment of the US president, who has promised that the US will lead the great struggle of democracies around the world against dictatorships after the tumultuous Trump term.