WH: Sanctions are hurting Putin

By Julian Hattem

Global sanctions are having a harsh effect on Russian President Vladimir Putin and are likely to force him to change his tact in Ukraine, according to White House Deputy National Security Advisor Tony Blinken.On CNN’s “State of the Union” on Sunday, Blinken said that the sanctions were forcing Putin to make “a very hard choice.”

“He had a compact with his people, and the compact is this: I’ll deliver economic growth if you’ll remain politically compliant,” he said. “Right now he’s not delivering growth and the pressure we’re putting on him in coordination with other countries in the world, is forcing that choice on him.”

Blinken noted that Russian financial markets are down 22 percent since the beginning of the year, in large part because of the success of sanctions from the U.S. and other nations.

“The economic isolation of Russia is growing every single day,” he said.

“Over time, this has a significant impact because he can’t deliver what he promised to his people.”
Leaders of the Group of 7 nations hope to further that isolation with new sanctions that could come as soon as Monday. Those efforts will target “cronies” in the government and people close to Putin, Obama administration officials have said.

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