US warns to cut off Russia from technology, resources over Ukraine

US Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) (L) talks with Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) during a rally with fellow Democrats before voting on H.R. 1, or the People Act, on the East Steps of the US Capitol on March 08, 2019 in Washington, DC. (AFP photo)
Wally Adeyemo, during his Senate Finance Committee nomination hearing to be Deputy Secretary of the Treasury in the Dirksen Senate Office Building, in Washington, D.C., U.S., February 23, 2021. (Reuters File Photo)

A senior US government official on Wednesday warned Russia of withholding technology and resources if it moves to militarily invade neighboring Ukraine amid soaring tensions between the two sides.

Wally Adeyemo, the US deputy treasury secretary, said Washington was prepared to respond with tougher measures if Russian President Vladimir Putin does “more than he has done so far”.

"President Putin clearly has the ability to do much more than he has done so far," Adeyemo said in an interview with CNBC.

The Joe Biden administration, he warned, could deprive Russia of low- and high-tech American and foreign-made goods, from commercial electronics and computers to semiconductors and aircraft parts, a report in Reuters stated. 

Putin on Monday recognized the Donetsk and Luhansk regions in eastern Ukraine as independent and ordered troops into the restive Donbas region. 

In response, the US government on Tuesday announced a slew of fresh sanctions against Russia, calling its recognition of two breakaway regions as independent the “beginning of a Russian invasion”.

Adeyemo said the next move from the Biden administration would cut off Russia from Western technology.

"We're going to cut him off from Western technology that's critical to advancing his military, cut him off from Western financial resources that will be critical for feeding his economy and also to enriching himself," he asserted.

"The key thing that President Putin needs to consider is whether he wants to ensure that Russia's economy is able to grow, that he has the resources he needs to be able to project power in the future. If he chooses to invade, what we're telling him very directly is that we're going to cut that off.”

Ukraine and its Western allies have long accused Russia of planning an invasion by amassing 150,000 troops and armaments along the border of the former Soviet Union country.

Russia has dismissed the claim, saying the military build-up is defensive owing to its security concerns over Ukraine's bid to join the NATO military alliance.

In his remarks on Wednesday, Putin said the Kremlin is ready to resolve the current crisis over Ukraine through "diplomatic solutions," but warned the West that his nation's interests were "non-negotiable."

Russia’s envoy to the United States condemned new sanctions on Moscow, warning that they will be to the detriment of the US and the West and will not force Moscow to change its foreign policy.

"It is hard to imagine that anyone in Washington is hoping Russia will revise its foreign policy under the threat of restrictions,” he asserted.

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