Trump Hits Biden Over ‘Weak Sanctions’ on Russia

Former President Donald Trump issued a statement blasting President Joe Biden and his “weak sanctions” on Russia.

Trump said Russia “has become very, very rich” as oil prices have risen. Russia is a major world supplier of oil and gas. 

In a statement released by his political action committee, Save America, Trump claimed that “there was absolutely no reason that the situation in Ukraine should have happened at all.”

He reiterated that the sanctions issued against Russia are “insignificant” and “weak” compared to gaining control over Ukraine.

“If properly handled, there was absolutely no reason that the situation currently happening in Ukraine should have happened at all. I know [Russian President] Vladimir Putin very well, and he would have never done during the Trump Administration what he has done during the Biden Administration, with oil prices doubling and soon to be tripling and quadrupling.

“The weak sanctions are insignificant relative to taking over a country and a massive piece of strategically located land.”

Trump continued, “Now it has begun, oil prices are going higher and higher, and Putin is not only getting what he always wanted, but getting, because of the oil and gas surge, richer and richer.

“The U.S. was energy independent under the Trump Administration, an independence that we had never obtained before, and oil prices would have remained low. Now, what a mess our Country is in!”

Biden sanctions

A slew of world leaders is hitting Russia with more sanctions due to its Ukraine invasion. President Biden announced sanctions targeting Russia’s economy and military and said Russia and Russian President Vladimir Putin would bear the brunt of the costs of the attack.

Biden said the sanctions will target Russia’s largest state-owned enterprises, limit exports to Russia, and “stunt the ability to finance and grow the Russian military.”

The newest sanctions follow the “first tranche” of sanctions announced earlier this week. The first sanctions targeted oligarchs, access to Western financing, financial institutions, and the Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline.

“This aggression cannot go unanswered. America stands up to bullies, we stand for freedom. This is who we are,” declared Biden.

For months, the U.S. and its allies pledged to enact severe sanctions to deter the Russian invasion of Ukraine, which haven’t yet deterred Putin. Although sanctions have become a favored tool for presidents and countries to avoid war, they don’t work quickly or consistently. 

“The record of sanctions at deterring war is pretty mixed, and one of the reasons for that is that it’s quite difficult to calibrate, to sort of…really arrange the pressure exactly right,” said Nicholas Mulder, Cornell University history professor.

He has researched the history of sanctions. “If you make a threat that is too weak, then it doesn’t deter. But if you make a threat that is very strong, then you might not actually be able to deliver on that threat, and it might not be credible.”