Biden Drops New Sanctions With More Holes Than Swiss Cheese, Then Leaves for Weekend

Biden Drops New Sanctions With More Holes Than Swiss Cheese, Then Leaves for Weekend
AP Photo/Susan Walsh

White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki announced they are now agreeing to put sanctions on Vladimir Putin and Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov personally. But, Psaki wouldn’t confirm that what they intend to do would have any effect on Putin.

KT McFarland, who served as Deputy National Security Advisor for President Donald Trump, said on Fox News she believed that wouldn’t have the desired effect at this point, that they needed to cut the Russians off from the SWIFT system to have an impact.

But even as the Biden team is saying this, even as Joe Biden claimed he would make Putin a “pariah,” the Biden administration is still saying that they will work with Russia on other issues in areas of key interest.

How do you make them a pariah, when you are still meeting with them and working with them? We heard from John Kerry, Biden’s climate czar, that his concern was that this not interfere with their work with Russia on climate change.

And even more than that, how are you making them a pariah if you are still buying 595,000 barrels of oil from them a day? Where is the plan to decouple from Russia and build back better our own energy independence that we had under President Donald Trump? As we noted, there doesn’t seem to be any such plan. The sanctions are designed to not affect Russian energy, perhaps because Biden has made us so beholden to Russia with increased buying of Russian oil, but you could do it in a way not to affect American flow.

As the AP’s Matt Lee breaks down here, they put sanctions on Russia and then they have so many “exemptions,” then what does any of this mean? Lee notes almost everything qualifies as an exemption. State Department spokesperson Ned Price seems speechless and has no answer in response to the question.

Apart from now putting some sanctions on Putin and Lavrov (with all kinds of exemptions), Biden still holding back the tough sanctions like booting them from SWIFT.

Biden says we should just give the sanctions a month to see how they will take effect. But as we’ve been saying, Ukraine may not have a month. They may not have much more than today, with reports that the Russians will now be moving to try to take Kyiv, although the defense has been amazing and far more than the Russians anticipated. The courage of the Ukrainian people and their leader, Volodymyr Zelensky, has been on display for all to see.

Meanwhile, while Biden is saying: hey, just wait a month to see the results of my amazingly tough sanctions, he’s off to Delaware for the weekend — as the Ukrainians are huddled in the subway to protect from the bombs, and the Russians move in.


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