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Biden administration says it would punish Russian elites if Putin invades Ukraine

Deputy Treasury Secretary Wally Adeyemo said on Sunday that the Biden administration will punish Russian elites with sanctions if Russian President Vladimir Putin invades Ukraine. 

During an appearance on CBS’s “Face The Nation,” Adeyemo told host ​​Margaret Brennan that the sanctions would cut off elites from the markets they care about most. 

“There are critical technologies that Russia is dependent on the United States and our allies on, technologies that Russia, that China does not have access to. Russian elites who we would cut off from the global financial system are not putting their money in China,” Adeyemo told Brennan

“They’re putting their money in Europe and in the United States. And those elites, those who are helping President Putin make these decisions, we would cut them and their families off from the global financial system in ways that would limit their ability to do business in the ways they’ve done it in the past.”

Brennan asked whether Germany was the “weakest link” in NATO’s response to Russia, given its dependence on Russian gas for its energy needs. Adeyemo also said that if Russia invades Ukraine, he was confident the controversial Nord Stream 2 pipeline would never go online. 

“It’s important to, while we oppose Nord Stream 2, the key for us is making sure that we take far more significant actions in addition to Nord Stream 2 in order to make sure the Russian economy suffers the consequences if Russia decides to invade,” he said. 

“But as I’ve said, the choice belongs to President Putin. He can choose the path of diplomacy and dialogue or choose a path that leads to the Russian economy suffering not only for tomorrow, but suffering over the long term and limiting his ability to project power into the future.”

Adeyemo’s remarks come after a week in which the Biden administration said Moscow was planning to produce a fake video showing Ukrainian aggression as a pretext to attack. 

The Pentagon announced Wednesday it is deploying and repositioning more than 3,000 troops to bolster Eastern European allies. A plane carrying U.S. troops arrived in Poland on Sunday after the Pentagon said that around 1,700 service members would deploy to the country. 

Tags CBS News Vladimir Putin Wally Adeyemo

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