WASHINGTON — The United States warned Russia Tuesday that it would face faster and far more severe economic consequences if it invades Ukraine than it did when Moscow annexed Ukraine’s Crimean Peninsula in 2014.
“We are prepared to implement sanctions with massive consequences that were not considered in 2014,” a national security official told reporters in Washington. “That means the gradualism of the past is out. And this time, we’ll start at the top of the escalation ladder and stay there.”
Later, President Joe Biden told reporters he could see himself personally imposing economic sanctions on Russian President Vladimir Putin if he invades Ukraine.
The security official, speaking anonymously, said the U.S. is “also prepared to impose novel export controls” to hobble the Russian economy.
“You can think of these export controls as trade restrictions in the service of broader U.S. national security interests,” the official said.
“We use them to prohibit the export of products from Russia,” the official said. “And given the reason they work is if you … step back and look at the global dominance of U.S.-origin software technology, the export control options we’re considering alongside our allies and partners would hit Putin’s strategic ambitions to industrialize his economy quite hard, and it would impair areas that are of importance to him, whether it’s in artificial intelligence, quantum computing, or defense or aerospace or other key sectors.”