FACTBOX-How Western Sanctions Target Russia
The West’s punishment of Moscow for its invasion of Ukraine intensified this week after civilians were found shot dead at close range in the Ukrainian town of Bucha, seized from Russian forces.
Below are details of Western sanctions so far: BANKS AND FINANCIAL COMPANIES
The United States imposed “full blocking sanctions” on Sberbank, which owns a third of Russia’s total banking assets, and Alfabank, the country’s fourth-largest financial institution. This means that American people cannot do business with lenders, while all their assets that touch the American financial system are frozen. Britain also froze the assets of Sberbank on Wednesday.
US President Joe Biden was expected to sign an executive order on Wednesday banning all new investment in Russia by US persons, which includes a ban on venture capital and mergers, US officials said. Previous sanctions by the United States, Britain and other Western allies in the days following Russia’s Feb. 24 invasion of Ukraine, which it calls “a special military operation,” expelled the vast majority of Russian banking assets from these countries, although some activities were allowed to continue.
US banks were required to sever correspondent banking links, which allow banks to make payments to each other, with Sberbank. Russian lenders VTB, Otkritie, Novikombank and Sovcombank were also subject to full blocking sanctions. European Union sanctions have affected 70% of the Russian banking system.
The United States on Wednesday announced sanctions against the two adult daughters of Russian President Vladimir Putin, the wife and daughter of Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov and senior Russian Security Council officials.
Separately, the US Justice Department said on Wednesday it had accused Russian oligarch Konstantin Malofeyev of violating existing sanctions, saying he funded Russians promoting separatism in Crimea. On February 25, the US government joined European countries in imposing sanctions on Putin and Lavrov.
More than 100 Russian elites, including members of Putin’s inner circle, members of the Russian parliament and Russian executives and businessmen, have been sanctioned since February 24 by Western nations. SWIFT BAR
The United States, Britain, Europe and Canada blocked some Russian lenders’ access to the SWIFT international payment system in February and March, preventing them from carrying out most of their financial transactions around the world. . The move also imposed restrictions on the international reserves of Russia’s central bank, the nations said in a joint statement.
SWIFT is used by over 11,000 financial institutions in over 200 countries. SOVEREIGN DEBT & CAPITAL MARKETS
This week, the United States blocked the Russian government from paying holders of its sovereign debt more than $600 million from reserves held in American banks. Under earlier sanctions, foreign currency reserves held by the Russian central bank with US lenders were frozen, but the Treasury had allowed Moscow to use those funds to make coupon payments on dollar-denominated sovereign debt to the US. case by case. On Monday, Washington decided to cut off Moscow’s access to the funds, according to a US Treasury spokesman.
In late February, Britain, the European Union and the United States imposed new restrictions on Russian sovereign debt trading. Britain announced a ban on Russian sovereign debt sales in London, the European Union banned European investors from trading Russian government bonds, and American investors, who were already barred from invest directly in Russian sovereign debt, were prohibited from buying it on the secondary market. from March 1.
On March 8, US President Biden imposed an immediate ban on Russian oil and other energy imports and Britain said it would phase out imports until the end of 2022.
On February 22, Berlin suspended certification of the Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline project in the Baltic Sea, designed to double the flow of Russian gas directly to Germany. The next day, the United States imposed sanctions on the company responsible for building the pipeline. The United States and the EU had already implemented sanctions following Moscow’s 2014 annexation of Crimea to Russia’s energy and defense sectors, state gas company Gazprom, its oil branch Gazpromneft and oil producers Lukoil, Rosneft and Surgutneftegaz facing various types of export/import restrictions and indebtedness.
CRINKING TECHNOLOGY Sanctions proposed by the European Union on Tuesday, which the bloc’s 27 member states must approve, would ban imports from Russia worth 9 billion euros ($9.8 billion) and exports to the Russia worth €10 billion, including semiconductors and computers, and would stop Russian ships entering EU ports.
The EU pledged earlier to introduce measures to strengthen Russia’s technological position in key areas – from high-tech components to cutting-edge software. The U.S. Department of Commerce has imposed export controls that severely restrict Russia’s access to semiconductors, computers, telecommunications, information security equipment, lasers and sensors it has acquired. needed to maintain its military capabilities.
Similar measures were deployed during the Cold War, when sanctions kept the Soviet Union technologically backward and stunted economic growth.
(This story has not been edited by the Devdiscourse team and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)