Former US Secretary of State Secretary of State Hillary Clinton has called for imposing harsher sanctions against Russia over its attack on Ukraine and ramping up pressure on Saudi Arabia, China and other countries to bring them into the anti-Moscow line.
“We need to be putting more sanctions more quickly on more things to up the ante on Russia and to try to bring more countries to the side of seeing that it’s in their interests to support that,” Clinton said on Sunday in an NBC News interview.
“I think it’s time to double-down on the pressure,” she added.
Although President Joe Biden and other Western leaders have touted the unprecedented severity of the sanctions they’ve already imposed on Moscow, Clinton said they haven’t gone far enough.
“The only way that we’re going to end the bloodshed and the terror that we’re seeing unleashed in Ukraine and protect Europe and democracy is to do everything we can to impose even greater costs on Putin,” she said
“There is more that can be done to increase pressure and stress – additional sanctions, more in the way of lethal aid.”
For instance, Clinton suggested that more Russian banks can be barred from the SWIFT system for international transactions. She said, too, that more can be done to cut off Russia’s oil and natural gas sales, and Moscow should be kicked out of the G20.
“I would not allow Russia back into the organization that it has been a part of,” Clinton said, adding that she would ban Russian officials from attending the G20 summit later this year in Indonesia.
- “If they insisted on literally showing up, I would hope that there would be a significant, if not total, boycott.”
Clinton, who has repeatedly blamed the Kremlin, among other alleged culprits, for her loss to Donald Trump in the 2016 US presidential election, also called for punishing Russian President Vladimir Putin personally.
“The only way that we’re going to end the bloodshed and the terror that we’re seeing unleashed in Ukraine and protect Europe and democracy is to do everything we can to impose even greater costs on Putin.”
NBC host Chuck Todd suggested that Saudi Arabia has chosen to be “on the side of Putin” because its leaders have declined to boost oil production to enable Western nations to cut off Russian supplies.
Clinton said she was “disappointed” by Riyadh’s decision and called for increasing pressure on the OPEC giant to support the West’s anti-Russia agenda.
“I would certainly do whatever I could that was available to me to try to be more persuasive, if you will, and talk about some consequences,” Clinton said. “I think you have to do carrot and stick, Chuck. We’re in an existential crisis right now.”
Clinton also lamented that other large countries, including China and India, continue to import Russian energy products while “trying to figure out which side to end up on this.”
- She called for increasing pressure on neutral or pro-Russia nations to make them realize they should turn against Moscow.