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U.S. details ‘devastating cost’ of Russian sanctions as President Biden condemns invasion of Ukraine

Posted: Friday, February 25, 2022. 3:17 pm CST.

By Aaron Humes: The U.S. Embassy in Belize, like its counterparts around the world, has transmitted President Joe Biden’s message to the people of Ukraine and to Russia following events late on Wednesday and through Thursday to today, Friday.

As we have reported, President Biden told the American public that his Russian counterpart, Vladimir Putin, “Russia alone is responsible for the death and destruction this attack will bring, and the United States and its Allies and partners will respond in a united and decisive way. The world will hold Russia accountable.”

As he promised, Biden on Thursday unveiled “severe and immediate economic costs on Russia in response to Putin’s war of choice against Ukraine. Today’s actions include sweeping financial sanctions and stringent export controls that will have a profound impact on Russia’s economy, financial system, and access to cutting-edge technology. The sanctions measures impose severe costs on Russia’s largest financial institutions and will further isolate Russia from the global financial system.”

Included in the sanctions are severing the connection to the U.S. financial system for Russia’s largest bank, Sberbank, and 25 subsidiaries by imposing correspondent and payable-through account sanctions. This action will restrict Sberbank’s access to transactions made in the dollar.

Blocking sanctions and asset freezes have been placed on the next four largest institutions, VTB Bank, Bank Otkritie, Sovcombank OJSC, and Novikombank, ensuring no Americans can do business with them; debt and equity restrictions on 13 major Russian enterprises and entities including state-owned energy company Gazprom and its subsidiaries, with assets of nearly US$1.4 trillion, making them unable to raise money through the U.S. market to fund military activity.

There are personal sanctions on several Russian elites and family members who sit at the heights of power in the Kremlin, cutting them off from the U.S. financial system and freezing their assets, and cutting their ability to travel.

The Russian military has been restricted in using American-produced items and items produced internationally with American software, technology or equipment, with only targeted military end-users allowed and the cutting off of key imports and multilateral cooperation.

Russian ally Belarus which has supported the invasion has had 24 citizens and entities sanctioned.

The U.S. says it is joined by the European Union, Australia, Japan, Canada, New Zealand, and the United Kingdom for parallel actions. None has so far suggested any military response.

 

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