U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Linda Thomas-Greenfield on Sunday said the U.S. and the U.N. won’t stop ramping up sanctions and penalties against Russia until the country backs down from its attacks on Ukraine.
“The Russians can be assured that we will continue to put more and more sanctions as they continue to press more on the Ukrainian government,” Thomas-Greenfield said on NBC’s “Meet the Press.”
The ambassador’s comments come amid the fourth day of Russia’s invasion into Ukraine, where fighting continues to escalate as the U.S. and its allies pile sanctions onto the Russian president and the country’s financial institutions.
The penalties have been gradually added over the last few days rather than all levied at once on Thursday when the attacks started, a move that Thomas-Greenfield said has been intentional.
“We will escalate as the Russians escalate. And that’s exactly what we have done,” she said.
Western allies on Saturday put additional pressure on Moscow to end its military assault against Ukraine. The U.S., European Union, United Kingdom and Canada imposed new sanctions on Russia’s financial institutions by removing “selected Russian banks” from the SWIFT global banking system.
“We hoped that the Russians would listen to the pressures that we were putting them under, but they didn’t, so they have to continue to feel additional sanctions and additional pressures on their economy. And they will feel the pain,” Thomas-Greenfield said.
The ambassador also said there are steps the United Nations can take to penalize Russia’s behavior. The U.N. can “isolate” the country, she said, both within its specialized agencies and at the upcoming meeting of the U.N. Human Rights Council in Geneva, where Russia “will be called out and their aggressions will be brought to the attention of the world.”
In a separate interview Sunday on CNN’s “State of the Union,” Thomas-Greenfield said that “everything is on the table” in terms of taking action against Russia, including referring Russian President Vladimir Putin to the Hague for a war crimes tribunal.
“They have to be held accountable, whether it’s in the United Nations or elsewhere,” she said.
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