(Natural News) An angry Ukrainian official has blasted the United States and European NATO allies for their pathetically ineffective and loophole-filled financial ‘sanctions’ against Russia over its invasion of his country.
Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba condemned a decision by Western governments to continue allowing Russian energy transactions to continue using the international SWIFT banking system, though harsh sanctions were reportedly issued on other financial transactions.
“I will not be diplomatic. Some countries are trying to leave loopholes, exclude a number of banks so they can apply some measures with their left hands and continue to trade with Russia with their right hands,” Kuleba said, according to Fox Business.
“Stop doing this now. Stop trading with the blood of Ukrainian men women and children. This is not a metaphor but the reality of what you are doing,” Kuleba continued. “History will judge you and your names will forever remain in history books as names of traitors to humanity. There are examples of such names in the 20th century. I am confident you do not want to add your names.”
The outlet reported:
The comments followed a Saturday move by the United States and European allies to exclude much of Russia’s banking system, including its central bank, from the SWIFT banking system. According to a senior U.S. administration official, this effectively made Russia “a global economic and financial pariah.”
Sanctions also hit Russian President Vladimir Putin and Russian oligarchs personally.
But the sanctions specifically carved out energy purchases like oil and natural gas – products from Russia that some European countries are heavily reliant on.
The network quoted a senior administration official who said on Saturday that U.S. and European officials are currently going “institution by institution” to try and figure out which of Russia’s transactions are for energy so those specific ones can be exempted. If those transactions can’t be identified, then international regulators can instead exempt entire banking institutions that process a heavy number of energy transactions while banning banks that don’t from the SWIFT system.
The goal, the official said, is “very carefully to maximize the impact on Russia and minimize the spillovers to Europe… and the global economy.”
But that will prove to be pointless when Putin figures out he can simply route all transactions — energy and otherwise — through the exempted banks.
After White House press secretary Jen Psaki claimed that energy sanctions are still on the table, Kuleba said that wasn’t good enough.
“It is critically important that Russia is disconnected from SWIFT on the fullest possible extent. All possible banks. Don’t play political games and stop earning money soaked in our blood,” he said.
Sen. Tom Cotton (R-Ark.), in an interview Sunday with ABC’s George Stephanopoulos, also blasted the administration’s weak sanctions regime and said as well it is rife with loopholes.
“Vladimir Putin controls 100 percent of the banks in Russia. He can use the other 20 percent to finance his war machine,” Cotton, a former U.S. Army infantry officer and veteran, said.
“It’s time to remove all Russian institutions from the international payment system. It’s time to impose sanctions on oil and gas exports. We need to rush those weapons that were announced for delivery yesterday to the front,” he added.
“Anti-tank, anti-aircraft missiles, sniper rifles, ammunition. It should have been done weeks ago,” Cotton added. “It’s time for the president to quit pussy-footing around. The financial sanctions are riddled with loopholes.”
Stephanopoulos responded by noting that Putin had raised the threat status of his nuclear deterrent forces, and asked Cotton whether he believed others were right to question Putin’s mental state.
“I’m not going to play psychologist. What Vladimir Putin said is not a surprise,” Cotton replied, noting that Putin has been projecting his intention to invade for months by building up forces along Ukraine’s borders.
“That’s why I’ve been urging this administration to take the threat from Vladimir Putin seriously, to impose sanctions weeks and months ago, to send weapons to Ukraine weeks ago,” Cotton noted further.
“Ms. Psaki said we made the mistake of seeing Vladimir Putin of seeing the world through global norms. I never made that mistake. I’ve seen him as a ruthless dictator. He took the ambitions he’s always had and went for the jugular,” he added.