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Previously, the US president promised to make it “very, very difficult” for Vladimir Putin to attack Ukraine amid continuing allegations in the press and at the White House that Moscow is planning an offensive against Kiev. The Kremlin has strongly rejected these claims, vowing it poses no threat to any state.
Biden administration officials are considering a wide array of options for possible sanctions against Russia to deter it from an alleged plan to invade Ukraine, CNN has reported, citing anonymous sources. The potential options reportedly include sanctions against undefined “members of Putin’s inner circle”, Russian energy companies, and banks. Russia’s sovereign debt might also be targeted, the sources claimed.
According to CNN, the White House also considered a potential “nuclear option” – cutting Russia off SWIFT – a worldwide system of inter-bank communications that are used in international money wires and transactions. The US applied a similar measure against Iran under the presidency of Donald Trump, making it difficult for the country to trade with other members of the international community.