The US prohibits transactions in dollars with the Central Bank of Russia before the invasion of Ukraine

Demonstration in Prague, the capital of the Czech Republic, against the invasion of Ukraine.

Demonstration in Prague, the capital of the Czech Republic, against the invasion of Ukraine. – íhová Michaela/CTK/dpa

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The United States Government has banned transactions in US dollars with the Russian Central Bank on Monday and has blocked the Russian Direct Investment Fund (RDIF), in retaliation for the invasion of Ukraine.

The Secretary of State of the United States, Antony Blinken, has detailed that the prohibition also reaches the Russian National Wealth Fund and the Ministry of Finance. In the case of the RDIF, he has called it a “known bribery fund” for President Vladimir Putin and his inner circle. Washington has also sanctioned two of its subsidiaries and its chief executive, Kiril Dimitriev.

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In a statement, Blinken explained that Monday’s actions seek to prevent Moscow from using its international reserves to mitigate the impact of the sanctions already imposed for the invasion of Ukraine. In addition, they also want to prevent Russia from accessing funds that it can use in the context of the conflict.

The representative of US diplomacy has guaranteed that the United States will continue to coordinate with its allies to impose “severe consequences” on Russia for its actions in Ukraine and has reaffirmed its support for Ukraine’s sovereignty and territorial integrity.

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Senior US government officials quoted by CNN had already specified that the measures seek to prevent Russia from accessing a “contingency fund” that, as detailed, Moscow hoped to use during the military offensive. Thus, instead of using reserves to cushion the fall of the ruble, Russia will no longer be able to access the funds it holds in US dollars.

“Our strategy, to put it simply, is to make sure that the Russian economy regresses while President (of Russia, Vladimir) Putin decides to go ahead with his invasion of Ukraine,” said one of these senior officials.

The new sanctions, adopted in coordination with international partners, come with the Russian economy already damaged. Another senior official has pointed out that the measure is “the culmination of months of planning and preparation,” according to the aforementioned television channel.

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