The Biden administration has threatened crushing economic sanctions on Russia if it invades Ukraine, but some top Russian officials say they simply don’t care and that American financial punishments won’t impact the Kremlin’s decision-making.
Viktor Tatarintsev, Russia‘s ambassador to Sweden, mocked the idea of sanctions during a weekend interview with the Swedish news outlet Aftonbladet.
“Excuse my language, but we don’t give a s— about all their sanctions,” he said, according to multiple English-language media translations of his remarks.
The comments underscore a deeper concern across the West as Russian troops prepare for a possible invasion of Ukraine. There is growing fear that economic sanctions, no matter how harsh, simply aren’t enough to dissuade Russian President Vladimir Putin from trying to claim parts of Ukraine through military force.
The U.S. has made clear that American troops will not fight against Russia on Ukrainian soil, meaning that economic sanctions are the most likely form of punishment if an invasion takes place.
“We are prepared to continue to work on diplomacy, but we are also prepared to respond in a united and decisive way with our allies and partners, should Russia proceed,” White House National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan told CNN’s “State of the Union” on Sunday.