The issue of new sanctions against Russia has split the United States administration into two opposing factions. On Thursday, March 25, the Financial Times writes about this.
According to the newspaper, Victoria Nuland, Deputy Secretary of State for Political Affairs, adheres to a tough line, in particular, she believes that the United States should not depend on the opinion of the European Union on this issue. Another group includes personnel bureaucrats from the Ministry of Finance and the State Department. In principle, they agree with the imposition of sanctions, but they are concerned about their potential effectiveness, as well as the possible negative impact on the American economy itself and the need to take into account the position of the US partners.
Actually, the very practical formation of the sanctions package is handled by the adviser to the Deputy Finance Minister Elizabeth Rosenberg and the senior director at the National Security Council Peter Harrell. Rosenberg, in particular, oversees the US response to the cyberattack against SolarWinds. These sanctions are due to be announced on June 2.
US President Joe Biden, who in his statements demonstrates a commitment to the hardliners, according to the newspaper, however, probably will not impose financial sanctions on anyone other than a number of businessmen and officials of lower rank. The publication notes that this is due to the fact that US laws make it easy to declare sanctions, but do not allow them to be lifted in the same way, even if it is necessary to improve the situation.
Tensions in bilateral relations once again arose after the publication on March 16 of a report by the US Office of National Intelligence. It indicates that the Russian side allegedly interfered in the US presidential elections in 2020. In this regard, Washington also announced the adoption of new anti-Russian sanctions.
The next day, US President Joe Biden said that Russia must “pay” for “meddling” in the elections. According to him, he had previously had a “long conversation” with Russian leader Vladimir Putin, noting that he knew him “quite well”. At the same time, Biden said that he allegedly warned his Russian colleague about a possible response.
On March 18, Putin invited his American colleague to hold an open conversation, in fact, online, noting that such a format would be of interest not only to the peoples of the United States and the Russian Federation, but also to many in the world.
On the same day, the White House said that Biden would meet with the Russian leader when the time was “right.”
White House spokeswoman Jen Psaki stressed that Biden does not regret speaking about Putin. She stressed that the American leader “will not restrain himself in words or actions.”