The United States has prepared a new package of financial, technology and military sanctions against the Russian Federation that it says would go into effect within hours of an invasion of Ukraine.

Details of the sanctions package were reported by The New York Times, citing U.S. officials. They described details of those plans for the first time, just ahead of talks between Russia and the West, scheduled for Monday in Geneva.

“The technology sanctions would target some of Mr. Putin’s favored industries — particularly aerospace and arms, which are major producers of revenue for the Russian government,” the report reads.

Possible restrictions include as follows:

– cutting off Russia’s largest financial institutions from global transactions;

– imposing an embargo on American-made or American-designed technology needed for defence-related and consumer industries.

In particular, the restrictions will focus on Russian-built fighter aircraft, anti-aircraft systems, anti-satellite systems, space systems and emerging technologies where Russia is hoping to make gains, like artificial intelligence and quantum computing. It is also possible to ban the export of a wide range of consumer goods — from cellphones and laptop computers to refrigerators and washing machines.

In addition, in the event of a Russian invasion, Washington plans to support an insurgency in Ukraine. That includes the advance positioning of arms for Ukrainian insurgents, probably including Stinger anti-aircraft missiles.

Meanwhile, Bloomberg notes that the United States wants to include the Russian Federation in the list of countries that are subject to the most severe export restrictions. Such measures are currently in place against Iran, North Korea, Cuba, and Syria.

According to AP, the United States stands ready to discuss with Russia certain limited aspects of its security policy in Europe. But they stressed that any agreement would depend on Russia removing threats to Ukraine. At the same time, no decisions will be made without the consent of Ukraine or NATO.

U.S. officials told reporters that the United States will in no way reduce its military presence or military arsenal in Eastern Europe, as required by Russia.

As a reminder, talks led by Under Secretary of State for Political Affairs Wendy Sherman will be held in Europe on Monday, 10 January. Russian officials will insist on their demands for “security guarantees,” including a ban on the deployment of any missiles, weapons, or troops in the post-socialist republics in Europe. In addition, Vladimir Putin demands the blocking of NATO enlargement, in particular to document the promise that Ukraine will never be able to join the Alliance.

NATO member states will meet with Russian officials in Brussels on Wednesday. The next day, Ukrainian officials will sit at the OSCE negotiating table in Vienna.

Bohdan Marusyak

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