VP Kamala Harris said Sunday she believes sanctions against Russia would completely discourage President Vladimir Putin; however, she and President Biden also stated Putin already decided on a possible invasion.
Harris addressed journalists at the Munich Security Conference in Munich, Germany, amid growing concerns over a Russian invasion of Ukraine. The vice president described the penalties as “among the most severe, if not the harshest,” the US has ever imposed.
— Fox News (@FoxNews) February 21, 2022
Her remarks came after Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky urged the US and its allies to implement sanctions on Russia immediately, before a possible invasion of Ukraine.
At the security conference, Zelensky stated, “we do not require your sanctions after the assault occurs, after our nation is fired upon, after we lose our borders, after we lose our economy, or after portions of our country are occupied.”
“Why would we require sanctions at that time?”
Adamant in Their Decision
A reporter questioned Harris about whether she believed the threat of sanctions would discourage Putin, notwithstanding the president’s assertion that Putin already decided on Ukraine.
“Keep in mind the sanctions are the result of a common viewpoint among our allies, not just our own. Because of the alliance, we agreed the deterrent effect of these sanctions remains relevant.”
“Remember, too: we continue to hope for a diplomatic solution to this crisis earnestly,” Harris added.
On Sunday, shelling increased in regions aided by Russia-backed separatists in Ukraine.
Putin has more than 150,000 Russian troops on the border with Ukraine; he’s recently been in charge of nuclear-capable missile tests.
Good meeting with @VP Kamala Harris; the 🇪🇺🇺🇸 are closer than ever.
There is strong transatlantic unity working for a diplomatic solution.
But if Russia chooses war, we will together respond with robust financial and economic sanctions. pic.twitter.com/9l91pVZwfX
— Ursula von der Leyen (@vonderleyen) February 19, 2022
In light of the current army buildup along the border, NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg stated on Sunday it appeared as though “Russia is mobilizing for an assault on Ukraine.”
While Stoltenberg emphasized it is not too late to change direction in the face of an armed attack, the secretary-general underlined a “new normal in European security” emerged.
70 Years of Peace About to End
On Sunday, during the forum held, Harris was questioned about how the US would “untangle” itself from the war, following the imposition of sanctions and probable military action.
Harris commented, adding that their goal is to align with their allies.
“I mean, let’s pause a second to appreciate the gravity of what we’re discussing. It has been more than 70 years. There has been peace and stability during those 70 years. We’re discussing the very real danger of war in Europe,” she explained.
“So our position is unequivocal. As a leader, as we have been in rallying allies and coordinating our collective and uniform position, we would all prefer a diplomatic resolution to this crisis.”
“So, where do we want to end this? A diplomatic resolution is a conclusion we wish to reach,” Harris said.