Biden’s “Milquetoast” Russia Sanctions Defanged After Berlin Says Nord Stream 2 Halt Not Permanent

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Assessment: Meanwhile, and right on schedule according to the now familiar pattern, US intelligence officials are again sounding the alarm over a “full-scale Russian invasion” of Ukraine coming “within 48 hours” – according to a fresh report in Newsweek…

Pundits are abuzz Wednesday with Biden’s announced “first tranche” of sanctions that won’t bite. “Who in the Lord’s name does Putin think gives him the right to declare new so-called countries on territory that belonged to his neighbours?” Biden had questioned in his major Tuesday address from the White House the east room. “This is a flagrant violation of international law, and it demands a firm response from the international community.” This coming from the leader who currently has some 1,000 troops occupying a foreign country’s oil and gas fields over 6,000 miles away.

Bloomberg observes of what Biden enacted: “Instead of a sweeping package that crippled top Russian banks, cut its financial transactions off from the global economy, or personally singled out Putin, the U.S. and its allies settled on a modest ‘first tranche’ of penalties.”

So it appears the White House doesn’t in reality think the Russian move to declare Donetsk and Luhansk independence while bolstering the action by sending “peacekeeping” forces is an actual “invasion” – as was the assertion of one of Biden’s national security advisers on Tuesday. It’s also a possibility that Washington could be starting to believe Moscow when it says it is not going to broaden any military action against Ukraine, despite this being the official media narrative.

Bloomberg noted further of the sanctions that targeted Russia’s banks VEB.RF and Promsvyazbank that they “hardly amounted to the precedent-shattering, economy-crippling measures the U.S. and its partners long telegraphed if Russian troops were to roll across the border.”

So it appears Putin in his bold but limited action in Donbas called the West’s bluff in terms of the buildup of boisterous tough talk on sanctions. However, Washington says the sanctions will be “incremental” determinant on Russia’s further actions.

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