October 4, 2022

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Europe arm Kiev. US Bank of Russia targets ‘sanctions or war’

New York. Joe Biden allocates up to another $600 million for Ukraine’s defense and prepares for more sanctions against Russia, as G7 foreign ministers meet again today to assess the situation and EU ministers to discuss further sanctions. A senior US defense official explained that Moscow is “increasingly” frustrated by the lack of momentum in the past few hours, particularly in the northern parts of Ukraine: “We still believe, based on what we’ve observed, that the righteous resistance in Kiev is greater than the Russians expected.”

Meanwhile, the US president signed a memorandum authorizing immediate military assistance to Ukraine of up to $600 million: under the 1961 Foreign Assistance Act, the amount must be determined by the Secretary of State. Foggy Bottom owner Anthony Blinken has already announced the dispatch of 350 million new military aid: These are “defense resources that will allow us to fight armored, airborne and other threats – said Blinken – another clear signal that the United States stands with the Ukrainian population.” Thanks to recent funding Over the past year, total US security assistance to Kiev has risen to more than $1 billion.

On the sanctions front, on the other hand, Washington is evaluating actions against the Russian Central Bank, a move that would end up targeting the $643 billion in reserves that Putin accumulated before the planned invasion. Moreover, the United States is seriously considering the hypothesis of Russia’s expulsion from Swift’s circle of international transactions: According to Bloomberg, Biden could try to push for the necessary EU directive to ban Swift in Moscow, the White House is debating. The premise is with the Fed, which sits on Swift’s supervisory body. “The alternative to imposing harsh sanctions would be World War III,” the commander-in-chief said in an interview. He explained that “there are two options: either World War III or making Russia pay” a heavy price, stressing that these measures “are the largest in history from an economic and political point of view.”

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The United States is also ready to help Volodymyr Zelensky leave Kiev to avoid being captured or killed by Russian forces, an offer the Ukrainian president has rejected: “The battle is here. “I need ammunition, not an elevator,” he said, according to the Associated Press. Then Zelensky spoke about a new conversation with French President Emmanuel Macron: “Weapons and equipment from our partners arrive in Ukraine. The anti-war coalition is working ».

Then came the turning point for Germany, when Chancellor Olaf Schultz authorized the supply of weapons: the Kiev leader commented, “Berlin has just announced the supply of anti-tank grenade launchers and Stinger missiles, and they continue to do so, Chancellor.” Then he pushed back to join the European Union: “Ukraine is defending its freedom and the future of Europe. I spoke to European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen about the EU’s effective assistance in this heroic struggle. I am sure he chose Ukraine,” Zelensky tweeted. The President also listened to the President of the European Council, Charles Michel, who told him “This is a crucial moment to finally end the long debate and decide Ukraine’s accession to the European Union.”

Meanwhile, Turkey is considering whether to stop Russian military ships in the Black Sea, but denies taking the decision, despite Zelensky’s words: “I thank my friend Erdogan and the Turkish people for their strong support. And the Ukrainian people will never forget that.” From Helsinki comes the news that Parliament will debate the NATO membership application: the popular initiative has exceeded the 50,000 signatures needed for the assembly to address the issue.

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