US, UK ramp up sanctions pressure on Russia over Ukraine

The United States and Britain on Sunday flagged new and "devastating" economic sanctions against Russia, as Washington and its NATO allies step up efforts to deter any invasion of Ukraine.

Fears of an imminent invasion have grown in recent days, despite denials from Moscow and pleas from Ukraine's president to avoid stirring "panic" over the massive Russian military build-up on the border.

Amid a flurry of diplomatic contacts, US Undersecretary of State Victoria Nuland said a proposal on security issues presented last week by the US and NATO to Russia may have stirred interest in Moscow.

"We've heard some signs that the Russians are interested in engaging on that proposal," Nuland said on CBS, including the likelihood of new talks this week between Secretary of State Antony Blinken and his Russian counterpart, Sergei Lavrov.

The chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, meanwhile, took a tough stance, saying it was crucial that the United States send a powerful message to Russian President Vladimir Putin that any aggression against Ukraine would come at a very high cost.

"We cannot have a Munich moment again," Senator Bob Menendez said on CNN. "Putin will not stop with Ukraine."
He indicated some penalties could be levied over actions Russia has already taken in Ukraine, including cyberattacks, but that "devastating sanctions that ultimately would crush Russia" would come if Moscow were to invade.

Nuland said the White House is working closely with the Senate, and that any sanctions measures would be "very well-aligned" with those coming from European allies.

Putin "will feel it acutely, as will the Russian people," she said.

In London, Foreign Secretary Liz Truss said Britain would unveil...

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