The United States is taking additional measures to increase economic pressure on Russia and President Vladimir Putin is following suit Shocking photos from the Ukrainian city of Buchaadvertiser New penalties Wednesday on Russian financial institutions, as well as some people, including Putin’s adult daughters and the wife and daughter of his foreign minister.
“Today we are significantly escalating the financial shock by imposing full-fledged ban sanctions on Russia’s largest financial institution, Sberbank, and the largest private bank, Alpha Bank,” a senior administration official told reporters.
The official noted that Sberbank owns nearly a third of the total assets of Russia’s banking sector, adding that the United States has now completely shut down “more than two-thirds of the Russian banking sector.”
Second, the senior official declared, “In line with the G7 and the European Union, we announce a ban on new investment in Russia.” This will be implemented by an executive order signed by US President Joe Biden.
The administration is also imposing full opposition sanctions on a new batch of Russian elites and their family members, including Putin’s adult daughters Maria Butina and Katerina Tikhonova, the wife and daughter of Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov and members of Russia’s Security Council, including the former president and prime minister. From Russia Dmitry Medvedev and Prime Minister Mikhail Mishustin. The senior official said the United States has already imposed sanctions on more than 140 referees, their family members, and more than 400 Russian government officials.
The United States will also apply full embargo sanctions on major Russian state-owned companies, which the Treasury Department will announce on Thursday. The official also referred to Tuesday’s announcement that the Treasury had blocked Russia from repaying dollar debts stored in US banks.
The senior official noted the crippling effect of US measures on the Russian economy since the invasion of Ukraine.
“Russia’s GDP is expected to shrink in double digits this year… It is not in the process of being isolated as a pariah country. The economic shock this year alone is expected by the IMF to wipe out 15 years of economic gains,” the official said.
Pressured about the effectiveness of sanctions in ending Putin’s war in Ukraine, the senior official sought to stress their impact on life in Russia and said Putin would eventually have to deal with his own people.
Even a despot like Putin has a social contract with the Russian people. “He deprived them of their freedom in exchange for a promise of stability, so it does not give them stability,” the official said.
The question is really not so much: What can we do and when will it have an impact? I guess: What’s the end game here for Putin? Why play? The official added. “It is very clear that this has become a failure for him and at some point he will have to realize this fact.”