Thursday, 6 October 2022

US Treasury announces unprecedented and expansive sanctions against Russia

5 min read

WASHINGTON – The United States took significant and unprecedented action to respond to Russia’s further invasion of Ukraine by imposing severe economic costs that will have both immediate and long-term effects on the Russian economy and financial system. The U.S. Department of the Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) today imposed expansive economic measures, in partnership with allies and partners, that target the core infrastructure of the Russian financial system — including all of Russia’s largest financial institutions and the ability of state-owned and private entities to raise capital — and further bars Russia from the global financial system. The actions also target nearly 80 percent of all banking assets in Russia and will have a deep and long-lasting effect on the Russian economy and financial system.

Building off of President Biden’s initial sanctions announcement this week, today Treasury is taking action against Russia’s top financial institutions, including sanctioning by far Russia’s two largest banks and almost 90 financial institution subsidiaries around the world. Treasury is also sanctioning additional Russian elites and their family members and imposing additional new prohibitions related to new debt and equity of major Russian state-owned enterprises and large privately owned financial institutions. This will fundamentally imperil Russia’s ability to raise capital key to its acts of aggression. These actions are specifically designed to impose immediate costs and disrupt and degrade future economic activity, isolate Russia from international finance and commerce, and degrade the Kremlin’s future ability to project power.

“Treasury is taking serious and unprecedented action to deliver swift and severe consequences to the Kremlin and significantly impair their ability to use the Russian economy and financial system to further their malign activity,” said Secretary of the Treasury Janet L. Yellen. “Our actions, taken in coordination with partners and allies, will degrade Russia’s ability to project power and threaten the peace and stability of Europe. We are united in our efforts to hold Russia accountable for its further invasion of Ukraine while mitigating impacts to Americans and our partners. If necessary, we are prepared to impose further costs on Russia in response to its egregious actions.”

Russia’s large financial services sector is heavily dominated by state-owned actors that rely on the U.S. financial system to conduct their business activities both within Russia and internationally. The sanctions the United States is imposing today cut off major parts of the Russian financial system and economy from access to this important financial infrastructure and the U.S. dollar more broadly.

The United States consulted closely with partners to tailor the economic costs of these actions to weigh most heavily on the Government of the Russian Federation (GoR) and its economy while mitigating impacts to America and its allies. Treasury’s sustained financial diplomacy over several months, on a near daily basis with partners and allies and at every level, has strengthened a unity of purpose, resolve, and technical coordination to deliver a broad array of impactful measures that will be felt deeply in Russia.

Today’s actions were taken pursuant to Executive Order (E.O.) 14024, which authorizes sanctions against Russia for its harmful foreign activities, including violating core principles of international law such as respect for the territorial integrity of sovereign states. Read more. 

Re-disseminated by The Asian Banker

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