The United States on Wednesday announced a new round of sanctions against Russia, targeting the country’s banks and elites in particular, after Washington and Kiev accused Moscow of being responsible for war crimes in Ukraine.
US officials have announced that the new sanctions target: Sberbank, Russia’s largest bank with almost a third of the country’s total banking assets, and the private bank Alfa Bank. Transactions in the energy sector are exempt from sanctions, they said.
The United States is also attacking the entourage of Russian President Vladimir Putin by imposing sanctions on two girls of the latter. The wife and daughter of Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov are also targeted, as are members of the Russian Security Council.
The White House has indicated that Joe Biden will sign an executive order ban americans to continue “any new investment in Russia” with the aim of further isolating Moscow from the global economy. “I made it clear that Russia would pay immediately” the high price for his atrocities in BoutchaJoe Biden said on Twitter, referring to the Ukrainian city where many corpses were discovered after the withdrawal of Russian troops.
I made it clear that Russia would pay a heavy and immediate price for its atrocities in Bucha. Today, together with our Allies and partners, we are announcing a new round of devastating sanctions. https://t.co/LVqTDIOSvz
— President Biden (@POTUS) Apr 6, 2022
“Today we announce a new series together with our allies and partners devastating punishmentsThe US president added. Sberbank and Alfa Bank stated shortly after these announcements that the new sanctions would not have a major impact on their sanctions round, three sources familiar with the talks told Reuters.
Isolate Moscow further
The United States is “significantly intensifying” Russia’s financial shock by isolating the country’s largest banks, a senior government official told reporters.
“The reality is that the country is sinking into economic, financial and technological isolation,” he said. “And at this rate, it will return to the living standards of the Soviet period of the 1980s.” To increase pressure on Vladimir Putin, the United States is also attacking “key Russian state-owned enterprises” to damage the Kremlin’s ability to finance its war effort.
The Treasury Department will release the names of the affected entities on Thursday, the White House said. Ukrainian authorities on Sunday accused Russian troops of committing a “massacre” in the city Butchaabout forty kilometers north of Kiev, after the discovery of hundreds of civilian bodies lying across the streets, some of whom, tied up, had been killed at close range.
Secretary of State Antony Blinken said the atrocities were part of a deliberate Russian campaign. Moscow, which claims to have launched a “special military operation” in Ukraine on February 24, denies targeting civilians and that the images of executed civilians were a “monstrous fake” staged by the West.