Fears grow amid the tensions between Ukraine and Russia for a potential invasion to Ukraine. However, top officials on the left and right appear to be in disagreement over appropriate strategies to deter the Kremlin from further advancing on Kyiv.
Russian Invasion of Ukraine Issue
In a published article in TheHill, the US together with its allies has warned Russia several times for weeks because of a possible invasion as Russia moves closer in deploying troops as an incursion against Ukraine where the tensions between the two countries have reached a boiling point in years. However, Moscow denied having plans to invade Ukraine despite amassing more than 100,000 militaries near its border.
Top U.S. and Russian officials have engaged in diplomatic meetings as the US tries to ease tensions, but no breakthroughs have been reached. Furthermore, The U.S. has rejected Moscow’s top demands one of which is to block Ukraine from joining NATO.
On Sunday, Antony Blinken, the secretary of state had a fresh off meeting with Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov, emphasized that a diplomatic path to ease tensions between Moscow and Kyiv is “preferable,” but State of the Union swift a severe and a united response from the US and Europe that would follow if a single additional Russian force aggressively goes into Ukraine. But with diplomacy stalled and a Russian invasion of Ukraine becoming more imminent, top U.S. officials appear to be at odds about an appropriate strategy to move forward.
On Sunday, Sen. Joni Ernst (R-Iowa), a member of the Senate Armed Services Committee, called on the U.S. to impose sanctions on Russia now, telling that the penalties need to be enforced before invasion occurs. Ernst also suggested that Russia could be expelled from the SWIFT banking system, a financial messaging service that allows banks to relay information regarding global transactions. Blinken, however, is opposed to such a move, that the U.S. would lose the deterrent effect if it imposes penalties on Moscow before a Russian invasion of Ukraine.
Biden Sparked a Commotion
President Joe Biden caused sparked confusion last week when he suggested that Russia would only faceless consequences for launching “minor” strikes over Ukraine, which the administration quickly walked back in several remarks and interviews. The Biden administration has since cleared that any incursion will be greeted with severe consequences.
Moreover, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, seems to notice the remarks, he then wrote on Twitter, saying “There are no minor incursions.” the U.S. appears poised to continue pushing for diplomacy despite an apparent stalemate and another report that Russia is reinforcing a plan to further offense, including a British assertion that Moscow is aiming to install a pro-Russian leader in the Ukrainian government. Russia has dismissed that assertion. Additionally, Blinken then said that the two sides will continue sharing ideas with the hope that a breakthrough will be achieved.