War in Ukraine: Washington announces new sanctions against Moscow

Posted on April 6, 2022 at 18:18Updated at 6:38 pm on April 6, 2022

The White House has stepped up its response to Moscow after atrocities against Butcha civilians in Ukraine. A new series of sanctions was announced on Wednesday to strengthen Russia’s economic sanctions. “We are hungry for capital, hungry for technology, hungry for talent, and every step we take creates a spiral that accelerates as Putin continues to escalate,” he said. rice field. The official US administration that always works in concert with Europeans and the G7.

Washington first tightened sanctions on Russian banks by freezing “all the assets of Sberbank and Alfabank that affect the American financial system.” Sberbank is Russia’s largest bank, accounting for nearly one-third of the assets of the banking sector, while Alfa-Bank is the country’s largest private bank. Public companies such as United Aircraft and United Shipbuilding are also eligible.

Joe Biden will also issue a presidential directive banning new US investment in Russia. This measure, which reflects the announcement of the withdrawal of private companies from the Russian market, should rob Moscow of foreign “know-how” and “talents”. However, it seems to be largely symbolic and is a situation that has effectively frozen Russia’s private initiative.

Vladimir Putin’s daughters were targeted

The White House is also tightening sanctions on Russian personalities. Asset freezes and foreclosures of the most luxurious assets in the United States will involve Vladimir Putin’s two adult daughters and Foreign Minister Sergeń≠ Viklov’s wife and daughter. “We believe that Vladimir Putin hides some of his property through his family,” justified the administration’s representative.

The Treasury announced on Monday that it was hampering Moscow’s ability to repay debt from dollar accounts held in US banks. Banks have approved payments in the ruble proposed by Moscow to respect the repayment of $ 640 million in debt, which matures at the beginning of the week, as it is a measure that could lead to payment defaults. not. The 30-day deadline for Moscow has begun.

The Treasury also announced earlier this week to sanction the hydra market, the “largest and most important darknet market.” It “prevents the spread of malicious cybercriminal services, dangerous drugs, and other illegal offers available on Russian-based sites” and justifies the administration. Hydra’s computer server has already been shut down in Germany and $ 25 million has been confiscated, according to the Treasury.

Operational implementation in Europe

The day after the fifth set of European sanctions was announced, 27 ambassadors met in Brussels this Wednesday to agree on the need to adopt them as soon as possible. Given the large number of technical questions asked, the measures target coal, finance, river transport, high-tech exports, food imports and more. -They continued to work with the Commission, European Services for European Action and Member States.

They will meet this Thursday to finalize the terms and conditions of the operation. If a final agreement is reached, sanctions may be published in the Official Journal of the European Union even before the Foreign Affairs Council on Monday, April 11.

To the extent of sanctions, the United States is less interested in the European debate on energy. Joe Biden has already proclaimed an embargo on Russia’s oil, gas and coal a month ago. In fact, it targeted only Russian oil, which accounts for 8% of US imports. Meanwhile, the United States is already producing large amounts of gas and coal without the need for Russian production. Republican senators have also proposed an embargo on uranium (to boost US production), but it has not been taken up by the White House at this stage.