WASHINGTON, Jan 23 (Reuters) - U.S. Secretary of State
Antony Blinken on Sunday rebuffed calls to immediately impose
economic sanctions on Russia, saying that doing so would
undercut the West's ability to deter potential Russian
aggression against Ukraine.
Russia's massing of troops near its border with Ukraine has
sparked Western concerns that it may invade. If Russia does make
an incursion, the West has threatened sanctions https://www.reuters.com/markets/europe/how-financial-western-sanctions-might-target-russia-2022-01-19
with profound economic effects. Moscow has said it has no plans
"When it comes to sanctions, the purpose of those sanctions
is to deter Russian aggression. And so if they are triggered
now, you lose the deterrent effect," Blinken told CNN in an
Blinken said if one more Russian force entered Ukraine in an
aggressive manner, that would trigger a significant response.
The United Kingdom https://www.reuters.com/world/europe/russia-faces-severe-sanctions-if-it-installs-puppet-regime-ukraine-uk-minister-2022-01-23
has threatened Russia with sanctions after Britain accused the
Kremlin of seeking to install a pro-Russian leader in Ukraine.
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy told the Washington
Post last week he supported imposing sanctions now, a view
endorsed by Republican lawmakers on Sunday.
"We need to act now. When it comes to pushing back against
Russia, we need to show strength and not be in a position of ...
appeasement," Republican Senator Joni Ernst, a member of the
Senate Armed Services Committee, told ABC News.
Democratic Senator Chris Coons, an ally of U.S. President
Joe Biden, argued for passing bipartisan U.S. legislation https://www.reuters.com/world/us-senate-democrats-unveil-russia-sanctions-bill-washington-post-2022-01-12
to "show resolve and determination and apply some sanctions
now" but said it was best to keep the strongest sanctions in
"The very strongest sanctions, the sorts of sanctions that
we use to bring Iran to the table, is something that we should
hold out as a deterrent," he told ABC News.
Asked if U.S. hands were tied over Ukraine because of a need
for Russian support in talks on reining in Iran's nuclear
program, Blinken, told CBS News: "Not in the least."
(Additional reporting by Susan Heavey; Writing by Arshad
Mohammed; Editing by Scott Malone and Lisa Shumaker)