Russia-Ukraine Crisis: Which Nations Have Imposed Sanctions & Who Have Been Hit?
The US, the UK, the EU, and even Japan, have targeted Russian banks and oligarchs. China has opposed sanctions.
As Russian troops, under orders from President Vladimir Putin, marched into the separatist controlled areas of Donetsk and Luhansk, the US and the UK among countries announced on Tuesday, 22 February, the initial wave of sanctions against Russian banks and oligarchs.
These sanctions are the latest play by the US and by Western Europe during what is an extremely dangerous phase of the Russia-Ukraine crisis.
Which individuals and which banks have been sanctioned? And which countries have imposed the sanctions? Read on.
The two banks that the US has sanctioned are:
Additionally, 42 subsidiaries of these two banks were also sanctioned.
VEB and Promsvyazbank are important to Russia's economy and its defence capability, respectively.
They were placed on the Specially Designated Nationals list, which means that they are now blacklisted in the US banking system and their US assets have been frozen.
Secretary of the Treasury Janet L Yellen said that the sanctions "begin the process of dismantling the Kremlin’s financial network and its ability to fund destabilising activity in Ukraine and around the world", as quoted in a statement released by the US Department of Treasury.
The five banks sanctioned by the UK, on the other hand, are:
Black Sea Bank
The US has sanctioned five individuals close to Putin.
Two members of the Russian elite close to Putin that have been targeted are Denis Aleksandrovich Bortnikov and his father, Aleksandr Vasilievich Bortnikov, who is the Director of the Federal Security Service (FSB) and also a permanent member of the Russian Security Council.
Another oligarch to be sanctioned is Petr Mikhailovich Fradkov, who is the Chairman and CEO of Promsvyazbank. He is the son of Mikhail Efimovich Fradkov, a former prime minister of Russia.
Finally, Vladimir Sergeevich Kiriyenko, and his father Sergei Vladilenovich Kiriyenko have also been sanctioned by the US.
Sergei Kiriyenko is the First Deputy Chief of Staff of the Presidential Office of Russia.
The three individuals that have been targeted by the UK are Gennady Timchenko, Igor Rotenberg, and Boris Rotenberg.
The Rotenberg brothers are co-owners of the SGM Group, a Russian company engaged in construction works for the oil and gas industry.
Timchenko is the founder and owner of Volga Group, a company specialising in investments in energy, transport, and infrastructure.
He is ranked 118th on the Bloomberg Billionaires Index.
Nevertheless, the British Parliament is pressuring Prime Minister Boris Johnson to impose stronger sanctions on Russia, including those on Chelsea Football Club owner Roman Abramovich.
In response to the Putin recognising the "Donetsk People's Republic" and "Luhansk People's Republic" in the Donbas region as independent from Ukraine, the US government's executive order prohibited for US companies to export, sell or supply goods, services and technology to the rebel-controlled parts of the two "republics."
New investments and the import of goods, services, or technology into the US from are also banned from the region.
The same would not be the case for the Ukraine controlled parts of Donbas.
US President Joe Biden also said on 22 February that sanctions would target Russia's sovereign debt.
"We've cut off Russia’s government from western financing. It can no longer raise money from the west and cannot trade in its new debt on our markets or European markets either", he asserted.
Additionally, foreign ministers of the countries belonging to the European Union on 22 February unanimously agreed that sanctions must be slapped against Russia.
Accusing Moscow of "violating international law" and "breaching its commitments", French Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian told reporters after the EU meeting that it has unanimously "agreed on an initial sanctions package", as quoted by AFP.
Japan and Australia have also announced sanctions against Russia.
In Australia's case, eight senior Russian security officials, along with the oil and gas sectors are being be targeted in what Prime Minister Scott Morrison has called "the first round" of sanctions.
Japan, on the other hand, has banned Russian bonds from being issued in the country.
Prime Minister Fumio Kishida announced on Wednesday, 23 February, that his government had also frozen the assets of certain Russian individuals.
Canada on 22 February announced the first round of economic sanctions against Russia.
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced that Canadians are now prohibited from all financial dealings with the so-called "independent states" of Luhansk and Donetsk, and from engaging in purchases of Russian sovereign debt.
Finally, Germany's punitive measures have involved pulling the plug on Nord Stream 2, a 750-mile long natural gas pipeline that stretches from Russia to Germany. A detailed analysis on the politics surrounding the pipeline can be found here.
China's foreign ministry said on 23 February that it opposes hitting Russia with punitive sanctions.
"We never think that sanctions is the best way to solve problems," the ministry stated.
(With inputs from FT, AFP, and The Guardian)
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