The New York Times: Biden’s decision to “de-escalate” “a cautious optimism” The restrictive measures, Washington thinks, will put the Russian economy in trouble. The sides to be observed now are the military, economic and diplomatic ones
Between Saturday and Sunday, Joe Biden did not respond to Putin’s decision to alert the nuclear arsenal. There have only been two comments. First that of UN Ambassador Linda Greenfield: “The Russian leader is aggravating the conflict in an unacceptable way.” Then the White House spokesman Jen Psaki: “It is another example of the model used by Putin: fabricating threats that do not exist.” Basically, as the New York Timesthe US government has for the time being dropped the Putinian move“With an act of de-escalation”.
In any case, Joe Biden will respond to Putin tomorrow, Tuesday 1 March, with the Address on the State of the Union, in front of the Congress (9 pm, 3 am in Italy). According to the first advances, the president’s “speech” would be marked by “a certain optimism», Accrued after the events of the last two days.
The Ukrainian resistance has also aroused the surprise and admiration of the Pentagon. The front with the allies has withstood the test of sanctions.
The restrictive measures, Washington thinks, will put the Russian economy in trouble.
Today the Administration restarts from here. There are three sides to observe.
The State Department announced that the US will send more weapons to Ukraine and means for 340 million dollars. Today, Monday, February 28, Biden will make a round of phone calls “with the allies” also to coordinate military assistance to Ukraine. The central problem, of course, is how to get the supplies to their destination, as Kiev appears to be surrounded by Russian forces.
In the Administration there are those who push to immediately adopt other sanctions. The National Security Council, led by Jake Sullivan, wants to give greater visibility to even the most symbolic measures already decided, but which have remained somewhat in the shadows compared to the Swift (the financial market circuit).
Examples: prevent the children of sanctioned oligarchs from attending prestigious universities (or “fancy” as an advisor told reporters); seize villas, yachts and other trophies of the wealth invested in the USA.
There is also discussion on how to target the wealth hidden in tax havens. The US Treasury has welcomed with great satisfaction the historic step of Switzerland which has decided to join the sanctions. According to the National Economic Bureau, a prestigious institute in Cambridge (USA), Putin and a large group of oligarchs and military have hidden around 800 billion dollars between Switzerland, the United Kingdom, Cyprus and other free zones in the world. That’s equivalent to the total assets of the other 144 million Russians.
The State Department looks with great skepticism at the talks between the Russian and Ukrainian delegations, scheduled for today. The idea is that Putin does not want to negotiate, but just pretend to do it. The goal of the Russian leader remains the surrender of Zelensky and the replacement of his government. The Secretary of State, Antony Blinken, will instead closely follow the United Nations Assembly in New York, where the motion condemning the Russian attack will be put to the vote. It will be an opportunity for a general count of the international community. In particular, the Americans will observe the decisions of India, Brazil, Argentina and other countries that have not yet exposed themselves (India abstained from the Security Council). These are all states that have important economic relations with Russia. Of course, the vote of China must also be followed.