Lindsey Graham encourages “crushing sanctions,” targeting of Russian oligarchs as invasion of Ukraine looms

WASHINGTON, D.C. (WCBD) – Senator Lindsey Graham (R-SC) on Monday called for tougher sanctions against the Russian government — and oligarchs — just hours after Russian President Vladimir Putin issued decrees recognizing the independence of two separatist-led Ukrainian regions, effectively setting the foundation for a Russian incursion into the sovereign country.

Shortly after Putin’s announcement, the Biden Administration announced plans to impose sanctions that would “block investment, trade, and financing by U.S. persons to, from, or in” the regions. It would also enable the U.S. to impose sanctions “on any person determined to operative in those areas of Ukraine.”

But Graham took to Twitter, saying harsher measures are necessary.

“Putin is making the case for the reconstruction of the Soviet Union/Russian Empire because he believes he can get away with it,” Graham said. “I stand ready, willing, and able to work with the Biden Administration to impose the most crushing sanctions possible on the Russian economy.”

Graham suggested targeting Russian oligarchs, which he said are “Putin’s partners in crime,” by taking away “their yachts, luxury apartments, and their assets.” He said that would be “a good beginning on the long journey to push back against Putin.”

He also said that the U.S. should immediately impose “forceful sanctions to destroy the ruble and crush the Russian oil and gas sector.”

White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki reiterated that the sanctions expected to be announced Monday “are separate from and would be in addition to the swift and severe economic measures we have been preparing in coordination with Allies and partners should Russia further invade Ukraine.”