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Former NATO commander says Biden sanctions must 'target Putin personally'

Former NATO commander James Stavridis said any additional sanctions on Russia from President Biden should be aimed at Russian President Vladimir Putin “personally.” 

“These sanctions need to target Putin personally, they need to go after his personal wealth, his ability… and his friends and his family to travel in the world,” Stavridis said Sunday, in an interview on “The Cats Roundtable” with host John Catsimatidis.

“He needs to be indicted in an international criminal court,” he added. “We need to personalize these sanctions.”

His comments come after Biden announced that the U.S. would impose over 500 new sanctions aimed at Russia Friday as Ukraine marks two years since Russia invaded. The announcement also follows the recent death of Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny.

“If Putin does not pay the price for his death and destruction, he will keep going,” Biden said in a statement. “And the costs to the United States—along with our NATO Allies and partners in Europe and around the world—will rise.”

Stavridis agreed with Biden that the Kremlin was involved with Navalny’s death, and argued that it should serve as “a wake-up call” for the U.S. to move additional Ukraine aid through Congress.

“That’s a personal tragedy because Alexei Navalny was a man of immense integrity and honor, a believer in democracy and liberty,” he said of the Putin critic’s death. “But, it’s also an indication to the West, of how confident, how strong Vladimir Putin feels he is.”

The U.S. — amid Congressional turmoil — has not provided Ukraine with significant military aid since December.

Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) visited Ukraine Friday with a congressional delegation and pressed House Speaker Mike Johnson (R-La.) to pass a national security spending package that would provide $60 billion to the country in its war against Russia. Saturday marks two years since Russia began its full-blown invasion into Ukraine.

“When we return to Washington, we will make clear to Speaker Johnson – and others in Congress who are obstructing military and economic support — exactly what is at stake here in Ukraine and for the rest of Europe and the free world,” Schumer said. “We will keep working to ensure Congress steps up, does the right thing, and delivers help for our friends and allies.”

For his part, Johnson has pushed back against the Senate’s package, signaling that he won’t bring it to the House floor unless it includes border security measures that House Republicans want. A bipartisan bill that included both was blocked by Senate Republicans earlier this month.

Source: The Hill

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