TOPEKA (KSNT) — Russian President Vladimir Putin declared independence for two separatist regions in eastern Ukraine on Monday. It’s a move to support Moscow-backed rebel groups and further fuel tensions with Ukraine and western allies.

“It appears that invasion is taking place, will soon take place, at least in part, the eastern part of Ukraine in which Russia will try to reclaim that territory,” United States Senator Jerry Moran said.

Sen. Moran says that if Russia attacks, the United States should immediately place sanctions so that Russia pays the price for its actions. A political science professor at the University of Kansas thinks those sanctions could potentially be a serious detriment to President Putin and Russia.

“One of the major sanctions would be to bar Russian major banks from dealing in the U.S. dollar,” Assistant Professor Valery Dzutasti said.

This move would make it nearly impossible for Russia to import and export goods and products into its country. But professor Dzutasti says that Putin has a method behind his madness and it starts with gathering military.

“Gather sufficient number of military, and kind of show off some type of military might, Biden will be more amenable to kind of meet our demands,” Dzutasti said.

But if sanctions are put in place, Russia could retaliate by choosing to cut off or limit oil and gas exports — that could effect the U.S. in more than just one way.

“It matters that the price of oil is climbing and that the price at the pump is expensive,” Moran said. “It affects the agricultural markets and wheat, Ukraine is a major wheat-producing country.”

Since Ukraine is not a NATO country, the U.S. military is not allowed to intervene without serious consequences.