Kamala Harris Promises “Unprecedented” Sanctions if Russia Invades Ukraine

The vice president met Saturday with Ukraine’s president in Munich.

US Vice President Kamala Harris with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy on SaturdayAndrew Harnik/AP

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In an address to the Munich Security Conference on Saturday, Vice President Kamala Harris said that the attendees had convened amid the most “dire circumstances” since “the end of the Cold War,” and warned that the United States and its allies would impose “swift” and “severe” penalties on Russia if its government goes ahead with an attack on Ukrainian territory.

“We will impose far-reaching financial sanctions and export controls, we will target Russia’s financial institutions and key industries, and we will target those who are complicit and those who aid and abet this unprovoked invasion,” said Harris, who reiterated the administration’s position that “our forces will not be deployed to fight inside Ukraine, but they will defend every inch of NATO territory.”

Harris was joined in Germany by a bipartisan congressional delegation, and met afterwards with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy. In recent days, the tensions over Ukraine have intensified, with Russian-backed separatists in eastern Ukraine reportedly ordering residents to evacuate the region, and Putin conducting tests of ballistic systems.

Harris’ comments came just a day after President Joe Biden, speaking from the White House, said he is “convinced” that Russian president Vladimir Putin has decided to order troops to invade Ukraine, but implored him to “de-escalate and return to the negotiating table.”

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REAL QUICK, REAL URGENT

Minority rule, corruption, disinformation, attacks on those who dare tell the truth: There is a direct line from what's happening in Russia and Ukraine to what's happening here at home. And that's what MoJo's Monika Bauerlein writes about in "Their Fight Is Our Fight" to unpack the information war we find ourselves in and share a few examples to show why the power of independent, reader-supported journalism is such a threat to authoritarians.

Corrupt leaders the world over can (and will) try to shut down the truth, but when the truth has millions of people on its side, you can't keep it down for good. And there's no more powerful or urgent argument for your support of Mother Jones' journalism right now than that. We need to raise about $450,000 to hit our online fundraising budget in these next few months, so please read more from Monika and pitch in if you can.

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