President Joe Biden says that Russia should be removed from the 20 nation group (G-20), in retaliation for invading Ukraine. This would be a big move that would isolate the Kremlin further and remove Russia’s ability to make decisions concerning global economics.
On Thursday, Biden told reporters that Russia’s place in the G-20 was discussed at the emergency meeting with primary United States allies in Brussels. He expressed that if Russia is going to be removed from the G-20, needs to be decided among the other members of the group. If the other nations decide not to remove Russia, Ukraine should be allowed to join the group meetings.
Statements Made During the Press Conference
The group of nations includes Western democracies, tyrannical countries, and authoritarian nations such as Saudi Arabia and China. G-20 operates to address concerns that have an impact on the global economy. The United States and its allies removed Russia from a group that is smaller than G-20 after the country’s annexation of Crimea. The smaller group is a group of industrialized nations that were originally called the G-8 but are now G-7.
Biden’s statement was made as the United States strengthened its stand with allies in regards to support for Ukraine after one month into the invasion from Russia. There are additional sanctions against the Kremlin that are intended to cripple Russia’s economy even more. The sanctions, aimed at more than 400 officials and entities in Russia, were enforced prior to the invasion. This was when Russian President Vladimir Putin had their economy shrink to half its size, based on information from the White House.
Russia’s Economic Impact
According to a senior official, independent tests show Russia’s previous 15 years of economic gains will dissolve this coming year. Additionally, there will be a 15 percent inflation spike. Prior to the invasion, Russia was ranked as the 11th largest economy in the world, however, they will fall out of the top 20. Sanctions will end all sources of possible growth, and prevent Russia from buying state-of-the-art technology.
On Thursday, Biden proclaimed he hopes to engage with refugees from Ukraine while he is in Europe. This statement gives away a piece of President Biden’s schedule, which has not been released by the White House. He says that an up-front view of how the war affects Ukrainians will re-encourage his commitment to the United States, and it will help him play a part to aid people inside and out of Ukraine.
I plan on attempting to see those folks as well as, I hope, I’m going to be able to see — guess I’m not supposed to say where I’m going, am I? But anyway, I hope I get to see a lot of people.
President Biden’s Views on Sanctions
During a press conference at a NATO summit, CBS reporter Christina Ruffini asked Biden what gives him the impression that Putin would change course with the actions he has taken? The president responded, “Let’s get something straight. You remember if you covered me from the very beginning, I did not say that, in fact, the sanctions would deter him. Sanctions never deter. You keep talking about that. Sanctions never deter.”
After his response, Ruffini restated her question and asks if the actions taken might encourage Putin to alter his plans. Biden snapped and proclaimed he did not say that.
Biden’s Reminders and Statements
Biden states, “The maintenance of sanctions, increasing the pain and the demonstration [is] why I asked for this NATO meeting today, is to be sure that after a month, we will sustain what we’re doing, not just next month, the following month, but for the remainder of this entire year.”
The president also mentions that the most important thing for them to do is remain unified; it is important to stay focused on what Putin is and focus on all the people who are innocent.
Shortly after Biden’s speech at NATO headquarters, Sen. Rob Portman (R-Ohio) told Fox News Digital that sanctions do deter people. They have to be structured to have an impact for them to work properly. He says that Biden needed to take stronger actions against Putin before the Ukraine invasion.
Statements From the Biden Administration
The statements from Biden come after weeks of communications from primary administration workers, including Vice President Kamala Harris and Secretary of State Antony Blinken. Blinken also believes the sanctions placed against Russia were intended to discourage Putin’s actions.
When asked in February whether she believes sanctions would deter Putin, Harris said, at the time, yes. She fully believes and knows sanctions are a product of their perspective as the United States and one shared with their allies. She also states the relationship with the allies is good. They agree the sanctions have a deterrent effect that is meaningful. This is primarily because they still hope a diplomatic path comes out of the moment.
She also stated in February that the intention of the sanctions was always, and will continue to be, a way to discourage Putin.
Before the invasion of Ukraine by Russia, Blinken insisted that the reason behind the sanctions was an attempt to steer Russia away from war, in an interview with CNN.
Jen Psaki’s Statements During the Conference
In February, Jen Psaki, White House Press Secretary, proclaimed sanctions are a strong tool. Psaki said the end goal was to place sanctions against Russia as a deterrent.
Deputy National Security Adviser for Internation Economics, Daleep Singh, explains sanctions can have greater strength, meant to discourage and avert.
An account on Twitter, which is being managed by the Republican National Committee, called attention to comments from Biden administration officials. They made a claim that the sanctions were intended to discourage Putin.
Today Biden again said that sanctions would not “deter” Putin from invading Ukraine.
His administration said the EXACT OPPOSITE for weeks.
ROLL THE TAPE! pic.twitter.com/C4ffAnEz3d
— RNC Research (@RNCResearch) March 24, 2022
NATO Defense Boost
NATO has come to an agreement to strengthen defenses in Europe to protect against Russia’s climbing aggression aimed at Ukraine.
Jens Stoltenberg, NATO Secretary-General, told reporters that NATO has agreed to strengthen its defensive abilities in the region. This was reported on Thursday after a special summit of the military alliance in Belgium.
Stoltenberg said more jets will be deployed in the air to strengthen integrated missile and air defenses. There will be many combat ships, carrier strike groups, and submarines. Future information will be decided in June at NATO’s next summit. A statement given by NATO after they met, said Russia’s aggression toward Ukraine is the worst threat to Euro-Atlantic in many years.
Written by Marrissa Kay
Edited by Jeanette Vietti
USA Today: Biden says Russia should be booted from G-20; Russia’s economy has shrunk in half since invading Ukraine: Live updates; by John Bacon Maureen Groppe Rebecca Morin Christal Hayes Michael Collins and Celina Tebor
Fox News: Biden insists Russia sanctions never meant to deter Putin from invading Ukraine despite prior messaging; by Kyle Morris
CNBC: NATO boosts defenses in Europe, says it faces ‘gravest threat’ to its security in decades; by Holly Ellyatt
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