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 By Jack Davis  February 13, 2022 at 12:52pm

A Russian diplomat scoffed at the Biden administration’s claims that the sanctions it plans to impose on Russia if it invades Ukraine will be devastating.

“Excuse my language, but we don’t give a s*** about all their sanctions,” Viktor Tatarintsev, Russia’s ambassador to Sweden, told Swedish newspaper Aftonbladet in an interview published Saturday, according to the New York Post.

“We have already had so many sanctions, and in that sense, they’ve had a positive effect on our economy and agriculture,” Tatarinstsev said.

“​We are more self-sufficient and have been able to increase our exports. We have no Italian or Swiss cheeses, but we’ve learned to make just as good Russian cheeses using Italian and Swiss recipes​,” he said.​

Russia’s Tass news agency said the subject of sanctions was addressed Saturday when Biden spoke with Russian leader Vladimir Putin.

“Joe Biden predictably mentioned potential severe anti-Russian sanctions in the context of the thorny situation around Ukraine, but the emphasis was not placed on that issue during a quite lengthy conversation with the Russian leader,” Kremlin aide Yury Ushakov said.

Putin “laid out in detail Russia’s approaches and explained why it is now high time to address the issues on which Russia’s national security really depends,” he continued.

For its part, the White House said Biden told Putin “the United States together with our Allies and partners will respond decisively and impose swift and severe costs on Russia.”

In a media background call Saturday, a “senior administration official” said that “discussions with the E.U., U.K., Canadian, and other partners and Allies to ensure that we are prepared to immediately impose severe financial sanctions and export controls are also reaching a culmination point.”

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Robert Wilkie, the secretary of veterans affairs from 2018 to January 2021 in then-President Donald Trump’s cabinet, who previously served as undersecretary of defense for personnel under then-Defense Secretary James Mattis, said economic sanctions are bound to fail, regardless of how much the administration says they will damage Russia, according to Fox News.

“A lot of the talk about economic sanctions is really a pie in the sky because China is now Russia’s banker,” Wilkie said. “Xi Jinping will back Putin if sanctions from the West come.”

“That’s a safety net he probably didn’t have 10, 15 years ago, and China probably wasn’t capable of buttressing the Russian state as it is now,” he said.

Wilkie explained that if the U.S. tried to harm Russia’s economy by blocking energy sales to European countries, Russia will simply sell more energy to China.

“[China] would start buying a lot more energy from Russia.”

If Germany were to block the NordStream 2 pipeline that delivers natural gas to Germany, “China would pick up the slack — they need the energy as much if not more than Europe does. That’s how I would see that playing out,” he said.

What is clear is that war could have economic reverberations for American consumers, according to Market Watch.

“I think if a war breaks out between Russia and Ukraine, $100 a barrel will be almost assured,” said Phil Flynn, market analyst at Price Futures Group. Oil last topped $100 a barrel in 2014.

“The $100-a-barrel area is more likely because inventories are tightest they have been in years,” Flynn said,

Jack Davis is a freelance writer who joined The Western Journal in July 2015 and chronicled the campaign that saw President Donald Trump elected. Since then, he has written extensively for The Western Journal on the Trump administration as well as foreign policy and military issues.

Jack Davis is a freelance writer who joined The Western Journal in July 2015 and chronicled the campaign that saw President Donald Trump elected. Since then, he has written extensively for The Western Journal on the Trump administration as well as foreign policy and military issues.

Jack can be reached at [email protected]

Location

New York City

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English

Topics of Expertise

Politics, Foreign Policy, Military & Defense Issues

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