Even Jake Tapper is asking if Biden’s weak sanctions will stop Putin ‘from doing anything?’

CNN’s Jake Tapper questioned President Joe Biden’s leadership in going up against Russian President Vladimir Putin, asking if the new sanctions announced Tuesday will stop “Putin from doing anything?”

Tapper was joined by Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba on CNN’s “The Lead” on Tuesday, shortly after the diplomat held a joint press conference with Secretary of State Antony Blinken.

During the conference, Kuleba appeared to take shots at Biden critiquing the nature of the sanctions that harm Ukrainian territory more than Russia and the president’s attempt to base his response on some arbitrary metric of minor or major invasion.

“Invasion is an invasion,” Kuleba stated.

These criticisms continued into the interview, with Tapper noting, “I couldn’t help but notice that you called on the world to exert all of its economic might to punish Russia for actions in the past and actions in the future.”

“I know you’re happy about the sanctions that were imposed today against the two banks and against some oligarchs, but that is not all of the world’s economic might. Is it fair to say you want more and you want more as soon as possible in terms of sanctions?” the CNN anchor asked.

“Absolutely,” Kuleba stated. “No sanctions will be enough until Russian boots withdraw from Ukrainian soil.” He went on to point out that Biden’s sanctions were just the beginning of deterrence before rehashing remarks from earlier. “That’s why I said in the press conference that we like what we saw today but it certainly won’t be enough.”

Tapper seemed doubtful despite Kuleba being somewhat pleased about the move from the Biden administration.

“I mean, you like what you saw today, but do you think today’s sanctions will deter Putin from doing anything, from entering Ukrainian parts of the Donbas territory, from staging any other invasion of Ukraine,” he said.

A skeptical Tapper summed up his question, “Will it stop him from doing anything at all?”

Kuleba laid out his perspective of Putin who, in his view, thought “the West is talking the talk but is not walking the walk,” with regards to actions of deterrence. While he believed the sanctions send a message about the reality of the situation, he admitted, “I don’t know what is on his mind and how he will act overnight.”

“Do you think that Biden…should have imposed these sanctions weeks if not months ago?” Tapper asked as a follow-up to Kuleba’s impression of posturing without action.

“Well, this was a position of Ukraine until literally yesterday,” Kuleba said in part before stating the question was obsolete now since they were already being invaded.

This question may have been obsolete already according to the Russian ambassador to Sweden. Victor Tatarintsev said in an interview earlier in February, “Excuse my language, but we don’t give a s–t about all their sanctions.”

Tatarintsev asserted that because of the numerous sanctions that have been imposed on Russia over the years, they have learned to be “more self-sufficient and have been able to increase [their] exports.”

Kuleba ended the discussion by pointing out the weakness that Biden’s policies will present to the world if Russia’s invasion moves forward.

“If Putin succeeds in Ukraine, other players across the globe who want to change rules, who want to bypass the United States, they will see that this is possible, that the West is uncapable of defending what it stands for,” he said.


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