U.S., Germany slap initial sanctions on ORDLO recognition
The U.S. has announced a first round of sanctions in relation to Russia’s Feb. 21 recognition of the break-away territories of Ukraine (ORDLO) as independent of Ukraine. The sanctions, enacted by executive order, expand upon previous sanctions related to those first enacted in 2014. The order, posted on whitehouse.gov, states that the sanctions are due to Russia’s contradiction of its responsibilities under the Minsk agreements. The sanctions forbid a variety of financial, goods, property and other transactions with entities connected to LNR and DNR.
Further U.S. sanctions are expected to be announced on Feb. 22, reuters.com reports. These sanctions are to be levied in coordination with European allies.
German chancellor Olaf Scholz stated on Feb. 22 that he has requested that the Economics Ministry withdraw the report on ensuring energy security that is a required element of certifying the Nord Stream II pipeline, interfax.ua reports.
James Hydzik: The sanctions against Russia have to be spot-on. Too soft and Russia will feel emboldened; too strong and Russia has nothing to lose. Just right, and Russia gets the message, or moves from Plan B to Plan C (assuming that Plan A was thwarted by the 1400+ tons of military hardware flown in). At risk is a military invasion into land currently controlled by the government of Ukraine. Given the tone of Putin’s speech on Feb. 21, further military movements near the current Line of Contact are highly likely. A strong response, with yet harsher sanctions still to come, will limit those movements, likely to the south of the current lines.