The U.S. government believes it “still retains the ability” to impose new non-military costs on Russia, such as additional sanctions, following the Kremlin’s unprovoked invasion of Ukraine, the adviser said on Friday. to White House National Security Jake Sullivan to reporters on Air Force One.
“We believe we still retain the ability to impose additional costs on Russia that are not strictly military costs,” Sullivan said. “We believe that there are of course additional measures to tighten the screws on the sanctions and we will constantly review them.”
“We believe the sanctions will increasingly have the effect of pressuring and constraining the Russian economy, the Russian war machine, in a way that will shape their thinking as they move forward. And that will undermine their ability to play an aggressive role in the world, as they have done over the past few years,” he added.
Sullivan also stressed the importance of enforcing the sanctions already announced.
“This point on enforcement though, I think it’s really central because in the coming period Russia’s main focus from an economic point of view will be figuring out how they can circumvent or under the sanctions that have been imposed. And blocking those pathways will be key to producing the kinds of cost-imposition effects and key to shaping thinking in the Kremlin,” Sullivan said.
Asked about worries about sanctions backfiring and causing the Russian population to solidify behind Russian President Vladimir Putin, Sullivan acknowledged that this is a narrative the Russian government will try to push, but the United States United believe that the Russian people will be able to “make the connection”. “
“Ultimately the Russian people are going to ask the most fundamental question of why this happened and how it happened and we believe that ultimately they will be able to connect the dots” , Sullivan said.
When asked if the United States was prepared to use secondary sanctions, Sullivan did not rule it out and said the United States was prepared to designate any person or company “undertaking systematic efforts to weaken them. or elude them and these tools are at this stage well understood”. by companies and countries around the world. »
“We’re ready to use them if it becomes necessary,” Sullivan said.
Regarding oil, Sullivan said the administration was considering “various actions” it could take alongside its allies to deal with oil prices, saying it was a major topic of conversation when Biden met with G7 allies.
Sullivan didn’t go into specifics, but hinted the actions would be announced soon, saying, “I won’t steal the administration’s thunder on this matter.”
“It was a major topic of conversation. The question of what tools we have at our disposal to deal with global oil prices and without getting ahead of the administration, we are looking at various measures that we can take and I will leave it at that. for now,” Sullivan said.
CNN’s Allie Malloy contributed to this post.