American President Joe Biden has lashed out at President Vladimir Putin, as Russian forces continue to invade and attack targets in Ukraine.

The American President on Thursday evening spoke about situation, and began his speech attacking Russia and President Putin for his invasion of Ukraine. The President soon acknowledged the cyberattacks against Ukraine as well.

President Biden confirmed that the United States, along with the UK and other allies around the world have authorised additional sanctions, expanding the restrictions on more Russian banks and Russian oligarchs around the world. Indeed, these Russian organisations are said to be hold more than a $1 trillion in assets.

Tech exports

And President Biden also indicated that the United States will begin placing export bans on Russia, when he confirmed the imposition of technology export bans.

“Putin chose this war and he will pay,” said the President.

It comes after a senior US official earlier this week warned that a swath of high and low-end technology and resources may be withheld from Russia, even if manufactured by foreign entities.

President Biden indicated more than half of high tech imports into Russia will be cut.

This will include everything from lasers to telecoms equipment and maritime items, and even potentially low tech goods such as computers, laptops, and semiconductors.

“We designed the sanctions to maximise the impact on Russia and minimise impact on America and its allies,” said President Biden. “We will limit Russia’s ability to do business in dollars, pounds euros etc.”

President Biden promised that every asset held by sanctioned firms and individuals in America will be frozen, and Russian elites and their family members “must share the pain.”

Cyberattack warning

And then President Biden specifically addressed the issue of cyberattacks, when he warned Putin that “if Russia purses cyberattacks against us, against our critical industries, we are prepared to respond.”

It should be remembered that the cyberattack issue was raised during face-to-face talks between US President Joe Biden and Vladimir Putin in June 2021.

Biden and Putin spent much of that face-to-face meeting talking about cybersecurity issues, with Biden warning Putin of ‘retaliation’ and an ‘aggressive response’ if Russia attacks a list of 16 ‘critical’ industries in America.

Then in July 2021 President Biden underscored the issue of cyberattacks, when he admitted they could cause a ‘real shooting war’ with a ‘major power’.

Ever since 2011 the United States said it reserved the right to retaliate with military force against a cyberattack from a hostile state.

Meanwhile another 7,000 US troops have been dispatched to Germany, and the US and its allies have continued to deploy military assets to NATO countries.

President Biden warned Russia that “an attack on any NATO country will be an attack on us all.”

He predicted Russia’s military involvement in Ukraine will be prolonged.

“We will see how Russia reacts to these sanctions,” said Biden, “and whether Putin is prepared for Russia to become a second rate power.”

Swift exclusion

Both President Biden and indeed Prime Minister Boris Johnson have faced questions as to why Russia has not been excluded from the Brussels-based SWIFT payment system.

President Biden confirmed that Russia’s expulsion was always an option, but “the sanctions announced already exceed any SWIFT action.”

And it has emerged that certain European countries are reluctant to remove Russia from SWIFT, despite furious remonstrations from Kyiv to EU leaders.

Ukraine’s foreign minister, Dmytro Kuleba, voiced his anger as EU heads of state after they appeared to decide against blocking Russia from an international payments system through which it receives foreign currency, the Guardian reported.

Kuleba warned that European and US politicians would have “blood on their hands” if they failed to impose the heaviest toll on Moscow by cutting Russia from SWIFT.

SWIFT is used by over 11,000 financial institutions to send money into and out of countries.

Cutting Russia from SWIFT will impact that country’s oil and gas sector, that will also in turn impact European nations such as Germany that are heavily dependent on Russia hydrocarbons.

Indeed, Prime Minister Boris Johnson revealed during a parliament session on Thursday that the UK use of Russian gas is only 3 percent.

The PM repeatedly urged other European nations to lessen their dependence on Russia hydrocarbons.

The Guardian, citing UK sources, said Johnson had also made a major play for leaders to withdraw Russia’s access to SWIFT during his G7 speech to other world leaders.

Canada’s Justin Trudeau was the only other leader to express support for finding a way to enforce the ban.

Tom Jowitt

Tom Jowitt is a leading British tech freelancer and long standing contributor to Silicon UK. He is also a bit of a Lord of the Rings nut...

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