The Wall Street Journal is slamming President Joe Biden's new sanctions against Russia, saying they are "hardly the 'massive consequences'" he promised to take if Ukraine was invaded.
"The financial markets figured that out quickly as they staged a sharp rebound after Mr. Biden's remarks," the newspaper said in an editorial posted Thursday night. "Even more disappointing is the failure to go after the heart of the Kremlin's power.
"Mr. [Vladimir] Putin runs Russia like a gang in which wealth is shared among cronies but the general population sees few benefits. The system has made the Russian leader and his friends extremely rich. The living standards of average Russians are less important to Mr. Putin than protecting his coterie. These elites maintain their power so long as they support the regime."
The Journal noted much of the wealth of Putin's cronies is invested outside of Russia.
"Oligarchs have bought up mansions, sports teams and businesses outside Russia while sending their children to study and party abroad," the paper said.
"Many Western capitals looked the other way as money poured in and financiers, accountants, lawyers and real estate agents also cashed in. Yet on Thursday, the U.S. Treasury sanctioned only seven more Russians: three sons of Mr. Putin's cronies, a wife, and three bankers"
And the Journal maintained that "serious sanctions" would keep every Russian connected to Putin's regime from being able to enter the U.S., Europe, and the United Kingdom.
"The restrictions should extend to every wife, child, mistress, cousin, uncle, nephew and close friend they have," the paper noted. "Universities won't like it, but students related to an oligarch should have their visas revoked."
The outlet added: "Mr. Biden ducked a question at his Thursday press conference about why the U.S. hasn't sanctioned Mr. Putin personally but said it's still possible. The press should keep asking. The only sanctions that will really get Mr. Putin's attention are those that threaten his control of Russia and the loyalty of his cronies."
© 2023 Newsmax. All rights reserved.