Putin and Macron meet again by phone, the United States prepares for sanctions

Putin and Macron meet again by phone, the United States prepares for sanctions

Russian and French Presidents Vladimir Putin and Emmanuel Macron met by phone for the second time in four days amid the Ukraine crisis, the Kremlin said.

The Kremlin said: “The exchange of views on the situation around Ukraine continued, and issues related to providing Russia with legally defined long-term security guarantees were discussed.” The Kremlin said the two leaders agreed to continue their phone contacts, but the possibility of a physical meeting was also being explored. According to the Elysee, “both presidents are pleased with the positive progress made in the Normandy format,” the current conversation format that brings together Russia, Ukraine, France and Germany.

Penalties

Meanwhile, the United States has prepared “specific sanctions packages” against members of the Russian elite and their families. White House spokeswoman Jen Psaki said Monday night that it would be used if Russia effectively invaded Ukraine.

She added that Washington had identified individuals “in or around the Kremlin’s inner circle”. These individuals are “particularly vulnerable targets” according to the White House due to their close financial ties to Western countries. “This is just one element of our desire to strike Russia from every side in case it comes under attack,” Psaki said. The United Kingdom, one of the preferred investment destinations for wealthy Russians, also announced on Monday that it was tightening its arsenal of potential sanctions against Russian individuals and companies.

For several days, Washington has been providing details of the massive sanctions that the Americans promised to impose on Russia in the event of a military escalation. For example, the United States has already threatened to cut off Russian banks’ access to dollar transactions. President Joe Biden himself reiterated Monday that the United States will continue to call for diplomacy, but that “the country is prepared, no matter what.”

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The Kremlin said: “The exchange of views on the situation around Ukraine continued, and issues related to providing Russia with legally defined long-term security guarantees were discussed.” The Kremlin said the two leaders agreed to continue their phone contacts, but the possibility of a physical meeting was also being explored. According to the Elysee, “Both presidents welcome the positive progress that has been made in the Normandy format,” the current conversation format that brings together Russia, Ukraine, France and Germany. Meanwhile, the United States has prepared “specific sanctions packages” against members of the Russian elite and their families. White House spokeswoman Jen Psaki said Monday evening that it would be used if Russia actually invaded Ukraine, and said Washington had identified individuals “in or around the Kremlin’s inner circle.” These individuals are “particularly vulnerable targets” according to the White House due to their close financial ties to Western countries. “This is just one element of our desire to strike Russia from every side in case it comes under attack,” Psaki said. The United Kingdom, one of the preferred investment destinations for wealthy Russians, also announced on Monday that it was tightening its arsenal of potential sanctions against Russian individuals and companies. For several days, Washington has been providing details of the massive sanctions that the Americans promised to impose on Russia in the event of a military escalation. For example, the United States has already threatened to cut off Russian banks’ access to dollar transactions. President Joe Biden himself reiterated Monday that the United States will continue to call for diplomacy, but that “the country is prepared, no matter what.”

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