Pentagon spokesperson: US looking at sanctions against Russia ‘the likes of which we have not looked at before’

Pentagon press secretary John Kirby
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Pentagon spokesperson John Kirby on Sunday said the U.S. is looking at deterrents against Russia’s aggression toward Ukraine, “the likes of which we have not looked at before,” though he stated that there is still “room and space for diplomacy.”

“Fox News Sunday” host Dana Perino asked Kirby what efforts are being made to signal possible consequences from the U.S. if Russia invades Ukraine.

“I think we’ve been very clear with [Russian President Vladimir Putin] about the economic consequences that could come his way and the way of the Russian people should he further incur — invade inside Ukraine. And one of the things about sanctions is once you once you trip that, then the deterrent effect is lost,” Kirby said. 

“I think we’ve been very, very clear that we’re going to look at sanctions and economic consequences, the likes of which we have not looked at before or even considered even as far back as 2014,” he added.

However, Kirby also said during his interview that “it doesn’t have to come to conflict.”

“We still believe there’s room and space for diplomacy, and we’d like to see that be the solution here,” he said.

On Saturday, Kirby said “it’s really unclear” what Putin is planning to do, though the Pentagon official noted that the Russian president has “a lot of options available to him.”

“I mean, we do believe that at this point he still has not made a decision about whether to launch another invasion or an incursion of any size into Ukraine, but he has a lot more capability and a lot of options available to him now than he did even just two weeks ago,” Kirby said at the time.

Russia has demanded that Ukraine be blocked from ever joining NATO, a demand that Kirby said is outside Putin’s purview. However, he reiterated that the U.S. is willing to listen to some of Moscow’s other security demands.

Tags John Kirby John Kirby Pentagon Russia Ukraine Vladimir Putin Vladimir Putin

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