Russia will face the “strongest possible” sanctions if they invade Ukraine, in the form of heavy economic and political consequences, U.S. Sen. Ben Cardin said Sunday.
Cardin, D-Md., appeared on “Fox News Sunday” to discuss what the possible sanctions against Russia could look like in a “strong bi-partisan effort” that he said is almost complete and has the support of President Biden.
“We hope to show Mr. Putin that Democrats and Republicans in the Senate and the House, and that the White House, are united,” Cardin said. “That if he does do further incursions into Ukraine he will pay a very, very, very heavy price from the economic point of view and the isolation politically.”
Cardin said that the possible sanctions will include both financial and personal consequences for Russia’s current aggressive activity outside the Ukraine border. U.S. officials have said Moscow has assembled at least 70 percent of the military firepower it likely intends to have in place for a full-scale invasion.
The sanctions would affect Putin personally, the Russian economy, and the financing of Putin’s activities, Cardin said. The senator added that other individuals affected would include those who use the international banking system to finance Putin’s political agenda.
“These are gripping sanctions that will have an impact on the bad actors and the Russian economy in general because it is financing through corruption Putin’s political agenda,” Cardin said.
Leaders have given few hard details to the public, however, arguing it is best to keep Putin guessing.
Cutting Russia off from international banking would be one of the toughest financial steps the U.S. and its European allies could take. The move could cut Russia off from its international profits from oil and gas production, which account for more than 40% of the country’s revenue.
One tactic the U.S. has previously used is sanctioning the immediate circles of leaders, their families, and military and civilian circles.
Putin and his friends and family could face that as well, along with Russia’s powerful business oligarchs and its banks. That includes Putin’s family and a woman reported to be Putin’s romantic interest, Alina Kabaeva, who won Olympic gold in 2004 in rhythmic gymnastics.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.