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How do US and Western sanctions affect Russia?

The White House said the measures, coordinated between Washington, the G7 and the European Union (EU), would target banks and officials. Russia, while banning new investment in Russia. These new sanctions are partly in response to the incident in Bucha, Ukraine.

Earlier, Ukraine accused the Russian military of killing civilians in the city of Bucha located on the outskirts of Kiev. The Russian Defense Ministry denied the allegation, and stated that Russian troops had left Bucha on March 30, while fake evidence about the incident was presented four days later, when Ukrainian security forces arrived in this locality. .

On March 4, the Russian Ambassador to the United Nations held an extraordinary meeting after Britain – the President of the United Nations Security Council in April, twice in a day rejected Russia’s proposal to convene a Security Council meeting regarding the Bucha situation. Mr. Vassily Nebenzya gave videos from Bucha that were recorded shortly after Russia withdrew from the city and there were no bodies on the road in the videos above.

Here are the punishment of the US and the West aimed at Russia so far.

Banks and financial companies

The US has imposed “complete containment sanctions” on Sberbank, which holds about a third of Russia’s total banking assets, and Alfabank, Russia’s fourth-largest financial institution. US citizens will not be able to transact with Russian banks, while any assets of Russian banks in the US financial system will be frozen.

US President Joe Biden on April 6 signed an executive order banning US citizens from making new investments in Russia, including a ban on mergers and financial joint ventures.

On the same day, the UK announced the freezing of Sberbank’s assets.

Previous sanctions by the US, UK and other Western allies in the days following Russia’s military campaign in Ukraine, have driven most of Russia’s banking assets out of these countries, although Some activities are still allowed to continue.

US banks were asked to sever correspondent banking relationships, which allow banks to make payments with each other, and with Sberbank. Russian banks VTB, Otkritie, Novikombank and Sovcombank were also sanctioned with a complete blockade.

European Union sanctions affect 70% of the Russian banking system.

Russian individuals are sanctioned

The United States on April 6 announced sanctions against the family of President Putin, the wife and daughter of Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov, as well as many senior members of the Russian Security Council.

In addition, the Russian Ministry of Justice accused Russian financier Konstantin Malofeyev of violating existing sanctions, alleging that he financed Russians promoting secession in Crimea.

Before that, on February 25, right after Russia launched a military operation in Ukraine, the US and other European countries imposed sanctions on Russian President Putin and Foreign Minister Lavrov.

More than 100 Russian individuals, including members close to President Putin and members of Russia’s parliament, and Russian businessmen and oligarchs have also been sanctioned by Western countries since February 24.

Exclude Russia from SWIFT

The US, UK, Europe and Canada in late February and early March removed Russia from the SWIFT payment system, blocking Russian banks from performing most financial transactions in the world.

The move also places restrictions on the international reserves of Russia’s central bank.

SWIFT is currently used by more than 11,000 financial institutions in more than 200 countries.

Financial markets and government debt

This week, the United States prevented the Russian government from using reserves at American banks to pay holders of more than $600 million in government debt.

Under previous sanctions, foreign currency reserves held by the Russian central bank in US financial institutions were frozen, but the US Treasury Department still allowed Moscow to use those funds to make coupon payments for government debts in USD on a case-by-case basis.

At the end of February 2022, the UK, the European Union and the US introduced new restrictions on the handling of Russian government debt.

The UK announced a ban on the sale of Russian government debt in the country, the European Union banned EU investors from trading Russian state bonds. US investors, are prohibited from investing directly in Russian government debt, and are prohibited from buying and selling Russian government debt on the secondary market from March 1.

Russian Energy

US President Joe Biden on March 8 imposed an immediate ban on Russian oil imports. The UK also said that by the end of 2022, it will gradually eliminate Russian energy imports.

Previously, on February 22, Germany paused the approval process of the Nord Stream 2 project to transport gas from Russia to Germany. Soon after, the US imposed sanctions on the company responsible for erecting the pipeline.

After Russia annexed Crimea in 2014, the US and EU imposed sanctions targeting Russia’s energy and defense sectors. Russia’s state-owned Gazprom, its oil subsidiary Gazpromneft and oil producers Lukoil, Rosneft and Surgutneftegaz face many restrictions in the export/import sector.

Limited technology

Sanctions proposed by the European Union on April 5 are expected to ban imports of Russian goods worth 9 billion euros ($9.8 billion) and exports to Russia worth 10 billion euros, including semiconductors and computers, and block Russian ships from docking at EU ports.

The EU earlier announced it would introduce measures aimed at lowering Russia’s technological position in key areas – from high-tech components to advanced software.

The US Commerce Department has also imposed export controls, restricting Russia from buying items such as semiconductors, computers, information security equipment, lasers and sensors that Moscow needs to maintain its ability to operate. his military.

Similar measures were deployed during the Cold War. At that time, sanctions made the Soviet Union backward in technology and inhibited economic growth.

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