Citing an unnamed Biden administration official, Reuters reported on Tuesday that the US was considering tightening export controls to hurt Russia’s economy if Moscow moves to invade Ukraine.
The official said the measures were expected to be discussed at the White House on Tuesday. The official said the potential “extraordinary” export controls could prevent Russia from importing smartphones, key aircraft and automobile parts, and other materials.
The export controls would come with other economic sanctions that the Biden administration has earlier threatened to impose. Ukraine and other Eastern European countries want the US and the EU to sanction Russia now, but the Biden administration maintains it will only use the economic measures if Moscow invades.
For their part, the Russians have repeatedly denied that they are planning an invasion of Ukraine. Moscow has presented the US with a series of proposals for security guarantees in a bid to ease tensions in the region, including a request for NATO to halt its eastward expansion.
Any sanctions from the US now would hurt the chances of successful negotiations with Moscow. US officials said Tuesday that talks between the US and Russia on the security guarantees could start in January.