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The Sanctions So Far On Russia From US, UK and Europe

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The Sanctions So Far On Russia From US, UK and Europe

Russia-Ukraine War: US, UK, European Union and others increased sanctions against Russia.

The US, UK, European Union and others have ramped up sanctions against Russia following its Feb. 24 invasion of Ukraine. In the latest round, the US tightened penalties on two of Russia’s leading banks, including the country’s largest financial institution Sberbank, while leaving in place an energy carveout that allows them to process payments for oil and gas. The US also sanctioned Russian President Vladimir Putin’s two adult daughters and the wife and daughter of Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov.

Here is the latest tally.

The US

  • President Joe Biden’s administration has sanctioned Putin and Lavrov. It issued a ban on Russian oil and gas and forbid US people and companies from doing business with the central bank of Russia, a move that has immobilized nearly half of the country’s foreign currency reserves.
  • Biden ordered the banning of all U.S. imports of Russian fossil fuels including oil, a major escalation of Western efforts to hobble Russia’s economy
  • The US Treasury sanctioned Putin’s daughters Mariya Putina and Katerina Tikhonova and Lavrov’s wife and daughter as well as the members of the Russian Security Council; Treasury also sanctioned Belarusian officials and state-owned banks
  • The US banned transactions with the Russian central bank, the Russian National Wealth Fund and the Ministry of Finance
  • The moves will “effectively immobilize” any Russian central bank assets held in the US or by US nationals, according to the Treasury
  • Putin’s war chest is an estimated $630 billion in reserves; Russia’s own data published in January shows that $100 billion of the reserves were held in US dollars as of June
  • On April 4, the Treasury Department took aim at Russia’s effort to avoid a default on its sovereign debt by halting dollar debt payments from the nation’s accounts at US banks
  • The US separately issued a license allowing certain energy transactions with the central bank, an exemption a senior administration official said is aimed at minimizing the effects on energy markets in Europe
  • Biden is expected sign an executive order prohibiting new investment in Russia by US people and companies no matter where they are located
  • Washington also banned major Russian banks from the SWIFT financial messaging service
  • The US implemented full blocking sanctions on Sberbank and Alfa Bank as well as state-owned enterprises such as United Aircraft Corporation and United Shipbuilding Corporation
  • The US issued full blocking sanctions on 328 members of the Russian Duma, the country’s lower house of parliament, more than a dozen Russian elites and 48 Russian defense companies as part of a package of sanctions unveiled during a trip by Biden to Europe to meet with NATO and G7 countries; among those targeted:
  • Herman Gref, the head of Russia’s Sberbank and an adviser to President Vladimir Putin
  • Russian billionaire Gennady Timchenko, his companies and his family members
  • 17 board members of the Russian financial institution Sovcombank
  • Defense companies Russian Helicopters, Tactical Missiles Corporation, High Precision Systems, NPK Tekhmash OAO and Kronshtadt
  • The Biden administration sanctioned the wife of Belarus President Alexander Lukashenko and re-designated him as a penalty for public corruption; Belarus has been hosting Russian troops involved in the invasion of Ukraine
  • The US issued full blocking sanctions on Russian legislators, billionaires, bankers and their family members, including
  1. Dmitry Medvedev, former president and prime minister of Russia and a member of the security council
  2. Prime Minister Mikhail Mishustin
  3. Dmitry Peskov, Putin’s press secretary, his wife Tatiana Navka, and two adult children Nikolay and Elizaveta
  4. Ten members of the management board of VTB bank
  5. Alisher Usmanov, one of Russia’s wealthiest individuals and a close ally of Putin
  6. Nikolay Tokarev
  7. Boris Rotenberg
  8. Arkady Rotenberg
  9. Sergey Chemezov
  10. Igor Shuvalov
  11. Yevgeny Prigozhin
  • The US targeted Joint Stock Company Mikron, Russia’s largest semiconductor manufacturer and the developer of a chip for the country’s Mir payments system, as well as tech companies AO NII-Vektor, T-Platforms and Molecular Electronics Research Institute, which Treasury said are dependent on Western technologies and connected with the Russian defense industry
  • The US also targeted the plane and yacht of billionaire Viktor Feliksovich Vekselberg, who was originally designated for sanctions in 2018
  • The US also sanctioned seven Russian entities that control media outlets as well as 26 individuals who work at those outlets, an effort it said is aimed at halting Russian disinformation campaigns related to the invasion of Ukraine
  • The US Justice Department unveiled a new “KleptoCapture” task force that will enforce sanctions and export restrictions and to seize luxury assets belonging to Russia’s wealthiest citizens: the first charges of sanctions evasions were leveled April 6 against Russian tycoon Konstantin Malofeev.
  • The US said sanctions on the Russian Direct Investment Fund would also extend to its CEO, Kirill Dmitriev, a close Putin ally
  • The Biden administration is asking crypto exchanges to help ensure that Russian individuals and organizations aren’t using virtual currencies to avoid sanctions leveled on them by Washington, according to people with direct knowledge of the matter.

The UK

  • Prime Minister Boris Johnson ordered an asset freeze against all major Russian banks among a slew of measures. The pace of sanctions has picked up after his government accelerated the passage of an economic crime bill to target illicit Russian money in the UK.
  • Russian aviation and space companies blocked from UK insurance market
  • Russian-owned, controlled, chartered or operated vessels blocked from UK ports. Russian-registered aircraft barred from landing in UK, including Aeroflot planes
  • The UK was one of the main drivers to ban several Russian banks from using SWIFT and is calling for a total SWIFT ban for Russia
  • Ban on Russia’s central bank, ministry of finance and National Wealth Fund from accessing UK financial services. Asset freeze on Russian Direct Investment Fund
  • The UK government has also sanctioned some banks: VTB, Russia’s second largest, Alfa Bank, Rossiya, IS Bank, General Bank, Promsvyazbank and the Black Sea Bank. Russia’s biggest bank, Sberbank, banned from clearing sterling payments through the UK’s financial system.
  • Legislation to stop all major Russian companies from raising finance on UK markets, and also to prohibit the Russian state from raising sovereign debt on UK markets.
  • Sanctions on more than 1,000 individuals, entities and their subsidiaries, including Rostec, Russia’s biggest defense company, drone producer Kronshtadt and the Wagner Group of Russian mercenaries. Diamond mining company Alrosa has also been sanctioned.

Prominent individuals sanctioned so far include:

  • Vladimir Putin
  • Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov, and his stepdaughter Polina Kovaleva
  • Kirill Shamalov, Russia’s youngest billionaire and Putin’s former son-in-law
  • Roman Abramovich, including the Chelsea Football Club he owns and has now been put up for sale
  • Sberbank CEO Herman Gref
  • Petr Fradkov, head of Promsvyazbank (itself also sanctioned) and son of former head of FSB
  • Oleg Tinkov, founder of Tinkoff Bank
  • Denis Bortnikov, deputy president of VTB
  • Yury Slyusar, director of United Aircraft Corp.
  • Elena Georgieva, chair of the board of Novicom Bank
  • Volga Group founder and Novatek shareholder Gennady Timchenko
  • Stroygazmontazh founder Boris Rotenberg
  • Gazprom Bureniye shareholder Igor Rotenberg, Boris Rotenberg’s nephew
  • Kirill Dmitriev, CEO of Russian Direct Investment Fund
  • Alisher Usmanov
  • Igor Shuvalov
  • Mikhail Fridman, founder of Alfa Bank (which is itself sanctioned)
  • Eugene Shvidler, who the U.K. says has close links to Abramovich
  • Immediate ban on all exports of goods that could have military use, such as electrical components and truck parts
  • Legislation to prohibit a range of technology exports such as semiconductors and aircraft parts as well as goods for the extractive industries, such as oil refinery equipment
  • Limit of 50,000 pounds ($66,000) on deposits by Russian nationals in UK bank accounts
  • All sanctions also apply to Belarus; At least four Belarusian officials named for individual sanctions

The EU

  • The 27-nation bloc imposed four sets of sanctions against Russia, and also targeted Belarus. The most significant include:
  • A ban on all transactions with the Russian central bank and freezing its assets
  • Shutting down EU airspace to all Russian planes, including the private jets of oligarchs
  • Banning Russian state-owned media companies Russia Today and Sputnik
  • Excluding seven Russian banks from the SWIFT international payments system: VTB Bank PJSC, Bank Rossiya, Bank Otkritie, Novikombank, Promsvyazbank PJSC, Sovcombank PJSC and VEB.RF
  • Sanctioning Putin, Lavrov and some of Russia’s wealthiest tycoons, including Chelsea Football Club owner Roman Abramovich, as well as top officials in state companies and media
  • Banning the sale to Russia of luxury goods worth more than 300 euros, and of cars valued at more than 50,000 euros
  • Stopping exports from Belarus of products from mineral fuels to tobacco, wood and timber, cement, iron and steel
  • Sanctioning those Belorussians helping the Russian war effort
  • Stopping financial inflows from Russia into the EU by imposing limits on bank deposits and barring Russians from investing in EU securities
  • In lockstep with the U.S., introducing export controls on dual-use and high-tech goods, with a particular focus on electronics, computers, telecom and information security, sensors and lasers and marine applications
  • Banning exports of aircraft, aircraft parts and related equipment, as well as a ban on the sale of equipment and technology needed to update Russian oil refineries to modern environmental standards

Turkey

Turkey will restrict Russian warships from using waterways it controls to transit into the Black Sea due to Putin’s invasion of Ukraine, according to two Turkish officials familiar with the matter

Switzerland

  • President Ignazio Cassis of Switzerland, a historically neutral state that is not a member of the European Union, said the country would adopt the bloc’s sanctions on Russia, including asset freezes.
  • The Swiss government enforced EU sanctions against hundreds of Russian lawmakers and other officials including Putin and Lavrov
  • Swiss airspace has also been closed to all aircraft “with Russian markings”
  • Export of goods that could contribute to Russia’s military, defense and security sector prohibited
  • Providing technical assistance, brokering services or financing prohibited
  • Export of certain goods and services in the oil sector prohibited
  • Export of certain goods and technology that can be used in aviation and space industry prohibited
  • Providing public financing or financial assistance for trade with or investment in Russia prohibited
  • Other restrictive measures in the financial sector concern securities, loans and the acceptance of deposits
  • Transactions with the Russian Central Bank prohibited

Canada

Canada has matched US and European sanctions on major Russian banks and key Russian individuals, including on Putin himself and his inner circle.

  • All Canadian banks are prohibited from transactions with the Russian Central Bank, and all Canadians are banned from doing any deal involving new Russian debt
  • Canada has barred Russian airlines from using its airspace, and banned the import of Russian crude oil (although Canada hasn’t imported any since 2019)
  • It has canceled all existing export permits and halted new ones, which primarily affects the aerospace, technology and minerals sectors
  • Canadians are also prohibited from any financial dealings involving the disputed Ukrainian regions of Luhansk and Donetsk

Asia

Japan has joined many of the US and European economic actions. Other Asian nations, including South Korea and Singapore, have indicated they will take some steps designed to deter Putin from continuing Russia’s assault on Ukraine.

  • Prime Minister Fumio Kishida announced late Sunday that Japan would back measures on SWIFT and freeze the assets of Putin and other Russian officials, including Lavrov. It will also freeze the assets of several financial institutions, including Russia’s central bank.
  • Japan has also announced export controls, including on semiconductors, and a ban on visa issuance
  • Russia is barred from issuing government bonds in Japan
  • The government is set to sanction President Alexander Lukashenko among other individuals and groups from Belarus, and restrict trade with the country
  • South Korea will strengthen its screening of export control approvals and ban shipments of strategic goods to Russia, according to a foreign ministry statement
  • The country will participate in the SWIFT ban and decide on details after discussion
  • It will seek additional release of strategic oil reserve to help stabilize international energy market and consider resale of LNG to Europe
  • South Korea will increase humanitarian aid to Ukraine
  • Singapore’s government will impose unilateral sanctions against Russia, a move which a former diplomat said was the first time in decades that the city-state was censuring a foreign nation without United Nations Security Council backing
  • Foreign Minister Vivian Balakrishnan said Singapore plans to impose export controls on items that can be used as weapons in Ukraine “to inflict harm or to subjugate the Ukrainians”
  • Singapore will also block certain Russian banks and financial transactions connected to the country; the measures are being worked out and will be announced shortly, Balakrishnan told parliament on Monday
  • Some of China’s buyers have halted purchases of Russian coal due to concerns over Western sanctions that limit money transfers related to Russian exports, according to Chinese consultant Fenwei Energy Information Services Co.
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