US Plans ‘Crushing’ Sanctions on Kremlin 2 Years After Ukraine War

Buenos Aires, Argentina — Two years after Russia’s war on Ukraine, the United States is doubling down pressure on the Kremlin by rolling out sanctions on Russia targeting banks and the weapons industry, as described by a senior U.S. official.

A day before the U.S. plan to announce new sanctions packages imposed on Moscow, U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken said there’s a strong desire among the Group of 20 for Russia’s aggression in Ukraine to end.

“If you were in that room, as (Russian) Foreign Minister Lavrov was, you heard a very strong chorus coming from not just the G7 countries within the G20, but from many others as well, about the imperative of ending the Russian aggression, restoring peace,” Blinken told reporters during a press conference after attending G20 foreign ministers’ meetings in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.

Some of the U.S. sanctions will target those responsible for the detention death of Russian opposition leader Alexey Navalny.

“The fact that (Russian President) Vladimir Putin saw it necessary to persecute, poison, and imprison one man speaks volumes not about Russia’s strength under Putin, but its weakness,” Blinken added.

In Washington, Under Secretary of State Victoria Nuland said during a Thursday event hosted by the Center for Security and International Studies, or CSIS, that the U.S. will impose “a crushing new package of sanctions, hundreds and hundreds and hundreds of them, in the next couple of days.”

Some of these sanctions will be targeted at individuals directly involved in Navalny’s death, but the vast majority are designed to further impact “Putin’s war machine” and close gaps in existing sanctions, according to Nuland.

Despite the efforts of the United States and other countries to isolate Moscow, it remains actively engaged in diplomatic activities, as demonstrated by the presence of Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov at this week’s G20 ministerial meeting.

During the meeting, Lavrov held talks with Turkish Foreign Minister Hakan Fidan, where they discussed “diplomatic solutions” to the Ukraine war.

U.S. officials have said they don’t see the conditions for diplomatic negotiations to end the Ukraine war, as there’s skepticism that Russia is not motivated to negotiate and that Putin would never accept an independent Ukraine.

“Two years. We are all here,” wrote Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy in a post on the social media platform X, formerly known as Twitter, indicating that representatives from dozens of countries and various international organizations have gathered to show solidarity with Ukraine.

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