Western nations are imposing severe sanctions on Russia following its invasion of Ukraine, hoping to hobble the country’s economy and cause President Vladimir Putin to pull back his troops.
The United States, the European Union and the United Kingdom have all announced sanctions with promises of more to come if Russia does not withdraw its troops. On Monday, Switzerland’s president said his country will join in with EU sanctions, including freezing assets in Russia.
Other countries including Japan, Taiwan, Australia and New Zealand are joining in with financial sanctions, as well.
Here are some of the sanctions Russia is facing:
Financial sanctions: This weekend, the U.S. and other countries announced the removal of selected Russian banks from the SWIFT banking/messaging system. These Russian banks will be cut off from the international financial system that enables the smooth transfer of money across borders.
The move will make it harder, but not impossible, for Russia to operate globally. If Russia cannot use SWIFT, it will delay Russia from getting paid for exports of oil and gas. Likewise, those who are owed money from Russia will see a delay in getting funds.
· Western leaders have agreed to freeze the assets of Russia’s central bank. That means the bank has limited access to its $630 billion in international dollar reserves. No G20 nation has ever had its central bank assets frozen.
· Russia’s top 10 financial institutions have been placed under restrictions by the U.S. The institutions represent 80% of the country’s banking sector. The US has cut off the largest bank, Sberbank, from conducting transactions through the U.S. banking system. Sberbank accounts for about 30% of Russian banking transactions.
· Several Russian banks, including Bank Rossiya and Promsvyazbank, are under similar restrictions.
· The U.S., U.K. and EU have launched a transatlantic task force to identify and freeze the assets of sanctioned individuals and companies. The list includes Russian oligarchs, government officials and Putin himself.
Individual sanctions: The foreign assets of Putin, Sergey Lavrov — Russia’s foreign minister — and the country’s defense minister, Sergei Shoigu, have been frozen in the EU, U.S. and U.K., as have those of the Federal Security Service (FSB) security head, Alexander Bortnikov, the armed forces chief, Valery Gerasimov, and members of the Kremlin’s security council, the Guardian is reporting.
· In addition, the EU has imposed sanctions on all 351 members of Russia’s parliament, called the Duma.
· Various world governments have announced that assets will be frozen and international travel banned for more than a dozen Russian oligarchs with ties to Putin’s regime.
· Andrey Patrushev (oil company Rosneft), Petr Fradkov (Promsvyazbank), Yury Slyusar (United Aircraft), Boris Rotenberg (gas pipeline company SMP), Denis Bortnikov (VTB bank) and Kirill Shamalov, ex-husband of Putin’s daughter Katarina, are on asset freeze and travel ban lists around the world, according to the BBC.
· The U.K. and the EU have both put limits on bank accounts held by Russian nationals.
· The U.S. has imposed sanctions on 24 Belarusian individuals and entities, including “two significant Belarusian state-owned banks, nine defense firms, and seven regime-connected officials and elites.”
Business sanctions: While the U.S. is considering banning Russian airlines from its airspace, the EU and U.K. have already instituted bans in their airspace. Aeroflot, Russia’s major airline, has said it will be canceling its flights to all European airports.
· Russian energy companies, freight companies, oil pipelines, power and telecommunication companies have been banned from U.S. credit markets.
· There is also a ban on exporting airplane parts to Russia.
· The EU has banned exports of semiconductors and computers.
Sports sanctions: FIFA, the governing body of international soccer, and UEFA, the Union of European Football Associations, have both announced that they are suspending Russia from international soccer competition.
· The Formula One Grand Prix race and World Cup skiing events planned for Russia have been canceled.
· The International Judo Federation (IJF) has suspended Vladimir Putin as its honorary president.
· BWF, the governing body of international badminton competition, has canceled events in Russia and Belarus.
· The junior swimming world championships have moved from Russia.
· World chess body FIDE has severed ties with Russian and Belarus sponsors.
Other sanctions/restrictions: The EU says it will ban Russia’s state-owned news outlets, Sputnik and Russia Today.
· Germany has suspended permission for the Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline to open. Nord Stream 2 is a pipeline that carries gas from Russia to Germany.
· FedEx and UPS have both suspended shipments into Russia.
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