Klain: Sanctioning Russian Oil Would Hurt Unity That's Made 'the Sanctions Work'


On Thursday’s “Pod Save America,” White House Chief of Staff Ron Klain argued that sanctioning Russia’s oil and gas would make it difficult to keep the coalition the U.S. has assembled to sanction Russia together, and “The unity is what makes the sanctions work.”

Co-host Jon Favreau asked, “Some Republicans are now saying that what would really hurt their economy and their ability to fight this war is ending oil and gas imports. If Russia continues to escalate, are energy sanctions on the table?”

Klain responded, “I think we start from the premise that the goal is to cripple the Russian economy, not cripple the American economy. And I think we need to be very careful about how these sanctions work. Why are they so successful? Look, this is the largest set of sanctions that have ever been applied against a large country. It’s hard to sanction a very large country that’s interconnected with the world economy. They’ve been successful at doing catastrophic damage to the Russian economy. Because we’ve built this coalition of countries that have participated and all agreed to apply these sanctions. That includes our European allies, it includes the United Kingdom, it includes Japan and Australia, Canada, of course, a wide array of countries. And so, as we go forward, we need to keep that unity. The unity is what makes the sanctions work. And I think that’s the first principle. … We’ve got to keep everyone together. Once you get to these sanctions on oil and natural gas, it gets more complicated on keeping everyone together.”

Follow Ian Hanchett on Twitter @IanHanchett

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