US and NATO step up ‘economic warfare’ measures against Russia and arms transfers to Ukraine

The United States and its NATO allies on Monday escalated their economic war against Russia through sanctions and restrictions, accompanied by an increased influx of anti-tank and anti-aircraft weapons into Ukraine.

The moves come as Russian forces continue to approach Kiev, the Ukrainian capital, and amid widespread US and European press reports of increased shelling of urban areas.

French Economy Minister Bruno Le Maire declared: “We are waging a total economic and financial war against Russia”, promising: “We will cause the collapse of the Russian economy”.

“The economic and financial balance of power is totally in favor of the European Union which is in the process of discovering its economic power”, he added.

Members of the Ukrainian Territorial Defense Forces, volunteer military units of the Armed Forces, train in a city park in Kiev, Ukraine, January 22, 2022. (AP Photo/Efrem Lukatsky, File)

The Mayor later told French news agency AFP that he had misspoken, saying it was inappropriate to use the term “war” to describe NATO’s actions.

Meanwhile, in a speech to the National Assembly, French Prime Minister Jean Castex said his country would “take the lead of a multinational battalion that will be deployed this week in Romania”.

Ahead of Biden’s first State of the Union address on Tuesday night, the United States announced that Russian planes would be banned from flying over the United States.

Earlier on Tuesday, Maersk, MSC and CMA CGM, the world’s three largest container shipping companies, announced they were suspending deliveries to Russia, except for humanitarian supplies.

Britain and Canada have also announced that they are closing their ports to Russian ships. The UK added that the ban applies to any vessel with connections to Russia, while Canada said its action included fishing vessels operating in its territorial waters.

“We have just become the first nation to pass legislation involving a complete ban on all vessels with any connection to Russia from entering UK ports,” UK Transport Secretary Grant Shapps said on Twitter.

Also on Tuesday, Ford and ExxonMobil said they would end their business operations in Russia, while Apple said it would close all operations in the country, including ending Apple Pay and suspending all sales of its electronic products.

These actions have been accompanied by the expansion of arms shipments to Ukraine. On Monday, Finland announced it would send 2,500 assault rifles and ammunition to Ukraine, along with 1,500 anti-tank weapons. Sweden also announced the imminent arrival of 5,000 anti-tank weapons.

Canadian Foreign Minister Mélanie Joly is traveling to Poland today, according to Politics“to coordinate the shipment of 100 Carl Gustaf anti-armour rocket launchers, along with 2,000 rounds of ammunition and other aid”.

On Monday, “European Union High Representative Josep Borrell said that many countries were ready to supply Ukraine with fighter jets. And Ukraine’s parliament said on Monday that Poland was among the countries ready to supply Soviet-era MiG-29 fighters. stars and stripes reported.

Polish President Andrzej Duda claimed the plane would not arrive by air, saying: ‘We are not going to send jet planes into Ukrainian airspace’ meaning the plane would be delivered by land.

On Friday, NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg announced the deployment, for the first time, of the alliance’s 40,000-strong rapid reaction force, created in 2003.

“Yesterday the NATO allies activated our defense plans,” Stoltenberg said, adding that alliance forces would be positioned “on land, at sea and in the air.”

“The United States, Canada and European Allies have deployed thousands more troops to the eastern part of the Alliance,” Stoltenberg continued. “We have over 100 jets on high alert operating in over 30 different locations. And more than 120 ships from the Far North to the Mediterranean. Including three strike carrier groups.

On Tuesday, the Finnish parliament launched a debate on the country’s official membership in NATO.

As part of efforts to flood Ukraine with weapons, the Biden administration approved the immediate transfer of $350 million in weapons to Ukraine, including anti-tank weapons and anti-aircraft systems.

“We believe this is in good hands, that they are actively using these systems,” a senior defense official said Tuesday.

Of the 5,500 US troops who have been sent to Poland, a significant number are deployed on the Polish-Ukrainian border, working to get weapons to Ukraine.

the the wall street journal reported that “In Poland, for days, convoys of military transport trucks, escorted by police vehicles, headed towards the Polish border with Ukraine, passing young Ukrainians hitchhiking to join the fight. These mailings were not hidden; on the contrary, the Polish government has openly boasted that it sent lethal aid to Ukraine.

the Newspaper “More weapons and ammunition are expected to flow through Poland’s land routes or those of neighboring countries, as Western governments shell out hundreds of millions of dollars to send new equipment to the Ukrainian military.

the Newspaper noted that “the U.S. government authorized the export to Ukraine of $287 million in defense articles from 2015 to 2019…including $129 million in ammunition and ammunition, $56 million in control equipment shooting, laser, imaging and guidance, and $54 million in firearms and Related Items.”