The President of the European Commission, Ursula von der Leyen – Dati Bendo/European Commission/d / DPA
Live | Crisis in Ukraine
MADRID, 25 Feb. (EDITIONS) –
Vladimir Putin’s decision to invade Ukraine has unleashed a new wave of sanctions, which join those already announced by the international community, when the Russian president recognized the independence of the territories controlled by the rebels in Donbas.
The United States Government has imposed financial sanctions on five Russian banking entities, as well as on “the elites” of the country, among which are the families of former Defense Minister Sergei Ivanov, or the former Deputy Prime Minister, Igor Sechin.
The White House has issued a statement in which it details that the sanctions extend to the Sberbank bank and 25 subsidiaries –to which transactions carried out in dollars are restricted–, to VTB and to 20 subsidiaries –to which the assets linked to the United States financial system–, and three other entities such as Bank Otkritie, Sovcombank OJSC and Novikombank –which will receive the same sanction as VTB–.
Likewise, the president of the United States, Joe Biden, has approved a package of measures against “the Russian elites”, among which are the families of Ivanov and Sechin, as well as other Russian personalities such as the politician Nikolai Patrushev or the bank managers Andrey Puchkov, Yuriy Solviev, and Alexander Vedyakhin. The reason, to get rich “at the expense of the Russian State.”
European Union sanctions
The countries of the European Union approved this Friday their sanctions against Russia for the large-scale attack against Ukraine, in a battery that includes restrictions on banks, energy, finance, exports, transport and visa policy, in addition to personal sanctions against the Russian President Vladimir Putin and Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov.
This has been confirmed by the Latvian Foreign Minister, Edgars Rinkevics, who has indicated that the package unanimously agreed by the Twenty-seven includes the freezing of assets of Putin and Lavrov. “We will prepare a third package”, he has assured, advancing new European measures against Moscow in the middle of the war against the neighboring country.
On Thursday, the EU leaders agreed on the first response to the Russian aggression, defending that they are “massive” and unprecedented measures, which include restrictions on banks, energy, finance, exports, transport and visa policy, but do not contemplate measures such as removing Russia from the communication system for financial transactions SWIFT or blocking the energy supply.
At a press conference after the summit, the president of the European Commission, Ursula von der Leyen, announced that the round of sanctions includes the blocking of 70 percent of the Russian banking system and state-owned companies from the capital market, which will cause a rise in inflation and will hamper economic growth.
The sanctions will attack the deposits of Russian elites in Europe and the transfer of technology to refine oil, which will cause a major blow in a sector that obtained 24,000 million in exports in 2019. Also the operations of certain Russian airlines and visas to businessmen and Russian politicians will be blocked, he has revealed.
The Prime Minister of the United Kingdom, Boris Johnson, announced this Thursday a new battery of sanctions against Russia for the invasion of Ukraine, which include the freezing of the assets of the largest Russian banks and measures against one hundred individuals and entities in the country.
The biggest Russian banks will be excluded from the British financial system, which means that it will prevent them from accessing payments in pounds sterling. The assets of 100 individuals and entities will also be frozen and the sanctions list will also make it impossible for Russian companies, including state-owned ones, to obtain financing or borrow money in UK markets.
On the other hand, the Government of the United Kingdom has decided to ban the operations of the airline Aeroflot, the flag carrier of Russia. In addition, dual-use export licenses to cover items that could be used for military purposes will be suspended, and exports of high-tech items and oil refinery equipment will be halted.
Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison announced on Thursday the imposition of a series of additional sanctions against Russia after what he described as an “unjustified aggression” against Ukraine.
“We will apply financial sanctions to a further 25 individuals and four entities that have been responsible for unacceptable and unprovoked aggression. We will impose restrictions that will limit Australian investments in four other financial institutions,” Morrison said, according to a statement from his office.
The Australian head of government has pointed out, in statements collected by the SBS network, that Canberra could extend the restrictions to the more than 300 members that make up the Russian Parliament, predictably those who have voted in favor of Putin recognizing the independence of the self-proclaimed Donetsk and Lugansk republics in eastern Ukraine.
Canada will impose sanctions against members of the Russian Security Council, including Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu and the country’s Finance and Justice ministers.
In this regard, Canada will stop issuing export permits for products destined for Russia and will cancel existing permits. The Government of Canada has explained that it has coordinated with other G7 countries that intend to curb the Russian economy.
New Zealand sanctions
New Zealand will not allow Russian government officials and others associated with Russia’s invasion of Ukraine to enter its country, will ban the export of goods to Russian military and security forces, and will suspend the country’s bilateral engagement with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
Japan will suspend the issuance of visas to Russia and freeze the assets of people linked to the pro-Russian regions and impose a trade ban on the Ukrainian regions of Donetsk and Lugansk.
The president of Switzerland, Ignazio Cassis, reported this Thursday that the country will “partially” join the sanctions of the European Union (EU) against Russia for the invasion of Ukraine, while stressing that Moscow “has violated flagrantly” International Law and the sovereignty of another State. In addition, he has reported that the Swiss Embassy in Kiev will remain “closed” until further notice, although he has clarified that procedures can be carried out by phone.