Putin facing shell shock as US moves to choke Russia with major retaliation

Ukraine: Protesters in London show anger over invasion

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The US and the UK have both announced devastating sanctions on Russia in response to the invasion of Ukraine. The US have targeted nearly 80 percent of all banking assets in Russia, while the UK has frozen the assets of all major Russian banks. Patrick Reid, currency specialist at business consultancy the Adamis Principle, discussed the effectiveness of sanctions with Express.co.uk, and detailed the “huge” damage the West has inflicted on Russia with their latest move.

Mr Reid told Express.co.uk of the devastating power of halting the use of the US dollar and UK pound.

He explained: “Every single bank in the world has a set amount of dollars that they need to have as a backup entity in case of a war.

“Banks need dollars like oxygen. You need dollars to trade, to make agreements with banks.

“Without those dollars, you can’t breathe basically. So you die. Every single bank needs it.

“That’s why the dollar, across the board, is rocketing sky high.”

He said pursuing this strategy could prove hugely damaging for Russia.

Mr Reid said: “It will choke off a lot of the liquidity in Russian banks, because every single bank in the world needs US dollars. Losing the reserves will be a huge blow.”

He added that, while supplying soldiers would be the best way to help Ukraine, it’s highly unlikely the West would pursue this route.

Mr Reid said: “The key thing is troops on the ground – but that’s never going to happen.

“That’s when you lose your popularity as a country. People would be protesting on the streets.

“But if it’s something like economic sanctions, then it’s an easy win.”

However, speaking to CNN, Matthew Schmidt, director of the International Affairs program at the University of New Haven, argued sanctions are not a sufficient response to stop Putin.

Mr Schmidt said: “Diplomatic marginalization and financial sanctions are both on the table, but neither seems to have lured Putin back from the brink of conflict.

“Potential military costs, in the form of Russian losses on the battlefield, remain as the only viable disincentive that could stop the invasion.”

The EU has faced criticism for failing to respond in kind after the UK and the US. While the EU’s sanctions include 70 percent of the Russian banking market, it has yet to cover euro clearing.

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Anton Spisak, senior fellow at Tony Blair Institute, noted the discrepancy between the UK and US sanctions and the bloc’s on Twitter.

He said: “The US and UK have now cut off Russian banks from dollar and sterling clearing.

“But the EU and its regulators haven’t yet reciprocated with euro clearing.

“The lack of coordination among the Western governments on what should be uncontroversial measures is shocking.”

Tom McTague, writer at The Atlantic, added: “What is the EU playing at?”

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