The White House on Wednesday announced a new round of sanctions targeting two of Russia’s biggest banks and the adult children of Russian President Vladimir Putin, as the Biden administration seeks to amplify the financial pressure on the Kremlin over the invasion of Ukraine.
The sanctions on Sberbank and Alfa Bank come with a new U.S. prohibition on all inbound investment in Russia by any American, as well as sanctions on several state-owned Russian enterprises, including an aircraft and shipbuilding corporation. The steps are being announced in coordination with the Group of Seven and European Union. Sanctions will also be imposed on family members of Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov and other senior Russian officials.
The latest U.S. measures amount to “strong moves” that for the first time hit Russian state-owned companies and increasingly cut its banking sector off from the global financial system, said Edward Fishman, a former State Department official who worked on Russia sanctions policy during the Obama administration.
“They don’t address the biggest weakness in sanctions: Russia’s continued oil and gas sales, which rake in $1 billion each day for the Kremlin,” Fishman said. “As long as this gap exists, sanctions pressure will face an upper limit.”
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