Home Global U.S. Prohibits Transactions with Russia’s Central Bank, Sanctions Key Sources of Nations’s Wealth

U.S. Prohibits Transactions with Russia’s Central Bank, Sanctions Key Sources of Nations’s Wealth

U.S. Prohibits Transactions with Russia’s Central Bank,  Sanctions Key Sources of Nations’s Wealth

NEW YORK, February 28 — The U.S. increased its pressure on Russia by citizens from engaging in transactions with the Central Bank of the Russian Federation, the National Wealth Fund of the Russian Federation, and the Ministry of Finance of the Russian Federation, the U.S Treasury announced today in another effort to restrain Russia from continue the war against Ukraine.

The decision “effectively immobilizes any assets of the Central Bank of the Russian Federation held in the United States or by U.S. persons, wherever located, the Treasury said in the statement.

The Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) also sanctioned a key Russian sovereign wealth fund, the Russian Direct Investment Fund (RDIF), with exposure to the United States financial system and its Chief Executive Officer (CEO), Kirill Dmitriev – a known Putin ally. Recently designated Russian President Vladimir Putin and his inner circle of cronies have long relied on RDIF and Dmitriev to raise funds abroad, including in the United States, the Treasury said.

U.S. actions take place as ceasefire talks between Russian and Ukrainian officials began on the Belarusian border on Monday as Russia faced deepening economic isolation four days after invading Ukraine, Reuters reported on its website. It was not clear whether any progress could be achieved after President Putin put Russia’s nuclear-armed units on high alert on Sunday.

On February 26, 2022, U.S partners and allies committed to imposing restrictive measures that will prevent the Central Bank of the Russian Federation from deploying its international reserves in ways that would undermine the impact of United States sanctions and the European Union followed up with their restrictions last night.

“The unprecedented action we are taking today will significantly limit Russia’s ability to use assets to finance its destabilizing activities, and target the funds Putin and his inner circle depend on to enable his invasion of Ukraine,” said Secretary of the Treasury Janet L. Yellen in the statement. “Today, in coordination with partners and allies, we are following through on key commitments to restrict Russia’s access to these valuable resources.”

Today’s decisions were taken pursuant to Executive Order (E.O.) 14024, which authorizes sanctions against Russia for its harmful foreign activities, including violating well-established principles of international law, such as respect for the sovereignty and territorial integrity of other states, the Treasury said.

The Western-led response to the invasion of Ukraine has been emphatic, with sanctions that effectively cut off Moscow’s major financial institutions from Western markets. Russia’s rouble currency plunged 30% against the dollar on Monday. Countries also stepped up weapons supplies to Ukraine.

U.N. human rights chief Michelle Bachelet said at least 102 civilians in Ukraine have been killed since Thursday, with a further 304 wounded, but the real figure is feared to be “considerably higher,” Reuters reported. More than half a million people have fled to neighbouring countries, according to the United Nations refugee agency.

Note: Story was updated at 8:54am EST to add background information from Reuters about Russia/Ukraine war.

Relevant stories:
* With Ukraine Under Siege, U.S. Imposes ‘Unprecedented, Expansive’ Sanctions Against Russia
* As Ukraine Invasion Advances, U.S. Sanctions Russia’s President Putin, Foreign Minister Lavrov
* Biden Announces Sanctions Punishing Russia for Moves on Ukraine: NYT
* Sanctions Against Russia Roll Out; West Says More Could Come: WSJ

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Reporter, Editor:
Jose Enrique Arrioja
New York
Email: jearrioja@zignox.com


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