U.S. President Joe Biden, on Tuesday, warned of personal sanctions against Russian President Vladimir Putin if Moscow moves ahead with an invasion of Ukraine.
The tension between Ukraine and Russia appeared to be increasing.
The White House said the risk of a Russian invasion of Ukraine “remains imminent.”
Warning that such a move would prompt “enormous consequences” and even “change the world,” Biden said he would consider adding direct sanctions on Putin to a raft of measures being drawn up.
“Yes. I would see that,” Biden said when asked by reporters in Washington about targeting the Russian president, whom opponents have long accused of holding gigantic, secret wealth.
Furthermore, a senior US official laid out economic sanctions “with massive consequences” that go far beyond previous measures implemented in 2014 after Russia invaded Ukraine’s Crimea region.
“In this manner, the new measures would include restrictions on exports of high-tech US equipment in the artificial intelligence, quantum computing and aerospace sectors,” the official told reporters on condition of anonymity.
“What we’re talking about are sophisticated technologies that we design and produce,” and cutting them off would hit Putin’s “strategic ambitions to industrialize his economy quite hard,” the official said.
In the same vein, British Prime Minister Boris Johnson echoed the threat, saying sanctions would be “heavier than anything we’ve ever done.”
French President Emmanuel Macron said he would talk by telephone with Putin next Friday, seeking “clarification” on Moscow’s intentions.