On Tuesday, the White House said that Russia’s decision to annex more territory in Ukraine involves similar methods used in the annexation of Crimea in 2014.
The procedures which Russia are arranging to conduct the annexation may include establishing illegitimate proxy officials, a fraudulent referendum, enforcing the Russian Ruble as the main currency, and pressuring citizens in Ukraine to apply for Russian citizenship.
The US will apply sanctions on Russia as a form of punishment if they plan to annex more Ukrainian land, according to John Kirby, a retired rear admiral in the United States Navy now serving as the coordinator for Strategic Communications at the National Security Council in The White House. He also added that the US would provide more security assistance to Ukraine within this week, and referenced US intelligence, which was approved and relegated to be approved to the public, so information about Russia’s plans could be released.
Kirby said to reporters at the White House that “Russia is beginning to roll out a version of what you could call an annexation playbook, very similar to the one we saw in 2014.” He also said the potential referendum could happen very soon.
“The Kremlin has not disclosed the timeline for the referenda, but Russian proxies in these territories claim they will take place later this year, possibly in conjunction with Russia’s September regional elections,” he added.
He also said that Russia’s annexation plans may likely include the territories of Kherson and Zaporizhzhia, as well as the Donetsk and Luhansk Oblasts.
The US and its international partners have wanted to make positive developments in Ukraine, as Russia continues to dominate the Western territory of the war-torn nation. President Biden, recently approved billions of US dollars in order to provide weaponry and security assets to help Ukraine fight the war, he also placed numerous sanctions on the Russian state.
The revelation of the news regarding Russia’s attempts to annex more Ukrainian territory is part of ongoing aims of the US to disrupt Russia’s plans by disclosing them in advance. Key US officials, including Biden urgently alerted the world of Russia’s plans to invade Ukraine, weeks before the war was officially launched in February.
The attempt to annex Ukraine is eight years after Russia took control of the Crimean point, with President Vladmir Putin claiming the territory was supposed to “return” back to his country.
During the annexation of Crimea, the US responded by placing sanctions on Russia.
On Tuesday, Kirby also said the United States would respond in the same way by enforcing even stricter sanctions, if the Russian state is to continue with its plans to annex territory in Ukraine.
He stressed, “We’re going to respond swiftly and severely and in lockstep with our allies and partners,” adding, “Russia will face additional sanctions and become even more of a global pariah than it is now. We will never recognize any purportedly annexed territories belonging to Russia.”
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