To people close to Putin, against some banks and companies, the aeronautical industry or exports and the Russian oligarchy. Since the Russian invasion began from Ukraine more than a week ago, the most countries With the United States and the European Union as the main promoters, progressive sanctions have been applied that weigh down the Russian economy.
They have been joined by Canada, Japan, the United Kingdom, Switzerland or Australia, among others, amid strong international pressure against Russia. And it is that the measures have caused the rublethe official currency of the country, has collapsed stock and the Moscow Stock Exchange has been closed for several days.
Some prohibitions that have been increasing as Putin has continued with his aggression against Ukraine, and it is expected that they will not be the last to be applied.
Europe, promoter of sanctions
One of the latest EU decisions has been to ban the export of any luxury items from EU countries this Friday. In addition, in a coordinated manner, the G7 has announced a plan to end its favorable trade agreement with Russia, which opens the door to the possible imposition of tariffs on Moscow.
In addition, they are going to study the possibility of cutting off any source of financing from international financial institutions such as the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the World Bank (WB).
Previously, in the fourth package of measures of the European Union against Ukraine, approved this Wednesday, they have agreed new sanctions on more Russian oligarchs and politicians and the disconnection of three Belarusian banks of the Swift international communication system. In addition, the permanent representatives of the Twenty-seven have agreed on sanctions aimed at the maritime sector, “clarifying the issue of cryptocurrencies and completing the list of technologies and goods that cannot be exported,” the French presidency reported on its official Twitter account.
The European Union, promoter of the measures, already froze at first the assets of various Russian oligarchs and banned all 361 Duma members from traveling who voted in favor of recognizing the independence of Donestk and Lugansk and who served as a “pretext” for Putin to invade Ukraine. The UK has also frozen the assets of several oligarchs, including Chelsea owner Roman Abramovich.
Subsequently, with the Russian army on Ukrainian soil, the gradual EU sanctions have also affected the financial sector, energy and oil exports, the aviation industry and technology or visas, in a second package of measures.
As detailed by the President of the European Commission, Ursula Von der Leyen, on the occasion of this second expansion, Russia’s access to markets and the 70% of the Russian banking sector. All this without adding the exclusion of Russia from the SWIFT bank payment system, which came a little later thanks to a broad international consensus.
Said expulsion would come a few days later, just like the closure of sea and air space for Russian ships and aircraft.
The measure was announced last Sunday with a dropper by some countries individually. Already during the afternoon, in an Extraordinary Council of Foreign Ministers of the EU, it was unanimously adopted to apply the measure in the 27 Member States. A decision that has also been shared, like many others, by the United States, Canada or the United Kingdom.
The United States, Canada or the United Kingdom also support them
The United States has increased pressure on Russia in recent hours and its president, Joe Biden, has announced that he is prohibiting the import of Russian gas and oil, as well as seafood, vodka and diamonds from the Eurasian country.
Among the US sanctions, those applied against large Russian financial institutions, restrictions on Russian high-tech exports, on the oligarch elite of Russian President Vladimir Putin, in what Biden describes as “long-impact” sanctions.
They have arrived in a coordinated manner with the EU and any operation with the Central Bank of Russia (BCR) and the Russian National Investment Fund has also been prohibited. Access to Sberbank, the largest bank in Russia, has also been restricted from access to the US financial system along with 25 subsidiaries of the entity.
In addition, the US State Department has banned the entry of 19 Russian oligarchs and their relatives, and has blocked the assets of seven Russian organizations and 26 individuals. Among those sanctioned are the alleged figurehead of Vladimir PutinAlisher Usmanov, and Kremlin spokesmanDmitry Peskov.
The United Kingdom, for its part, has announced that will gradually reduce the import of oil from Russia until it stops buying crude from Moscow at the end of 2022.
Among other measures, it has frozen the assets of several Russian oligarchs, notably Roman Abramovich, owner of Chelsea Football Club.
Canada has also imposed sanctions. The country’s prime minister, Justin Trudeau explained that his government is going to ban imports of Russian crude. Similarly, he has sanctioned 18 people associated with the Russian Security Council, including the Russian president, and has extended sanctions against three banking entities, including the Russian central bank. He has also initiated a process to suspend the broadcast of the Russian news channel RT, a measure that has also been adopted in the United States or Europe.
Most of the international community does not rule out expanding new measures. In the case of Europe, more restrictions on luxury trade or gas have been left out of these first packages of measures. Europe’s energy dependency on Russia is one of the main obstacles to be resolved by the community partners. Approximately 40% of the gas consumed in Europe comes from Russia.
“The energy issue must be addressed for environmental and geopolitical reasons. We can reduce dependence on Russian gas by a third now. Everything cannot be made overnight, but a third can be done and it must be done now,” warned this Friday the High Representative of the EU, Josep Borell, who has warned that they are going to “prepare the way for impose the most drastic sanctions, such as have never been adopted”.
Along the same lines, Ursula Von der Leyen has expressed herself, who has announced that they will impose more sanctions “if Putin does not stop”.
This Tuesday The Russian government has sanctioned Joe Biden and other senior officials in his government as “an inevitable consequence of the extremely Russophobic course being followed by the current US administration.”
In response to the decision of the United States and the United Kingdom to ban oil and gas imports, he has warned that he has every right to take retaliatory measures, such as impose an embargo on the gas it sends to Europe through the Nord Stream 1 pipelineif the international community imposes sanctions on its energy exports.
As a consequence, it has prohibited exports related to telecommunications, medicine, automobiles, agriculture and some technological equipment until the end of 2022, the Russian government announced on Thursday.
Total More than 200 items have been banned from export. “These measures are a logical response to those imposed against Russia and are aimed at ensuring the functioning of key sectors of the economy,” the Russian economy ministry said.
Government Russian describes the sanctions as “unjustified” and considers that they are based on “lies”. In addition, they say that they demonstrate “the impotence” of the West with respect to the conflict. “We have reached a precipice, with a point of no return after,” the spokeswoman for Russian diplomacy Maria Zajárova recently stated.
“The sanctions against the president and the foreign minister are an example and a demonstration of the total impotence” of Western countries, Zakharova said in an interview in Russia.
With the ruble at record lows as a result of sanctions imposed by the West, Moscow has decided to freeze interest on its debt and temporarily suspend listing on the country’s stock market.
In addition, given the closure of the airspace for their planes by the EU, the United Kingdom, the United States and Canada, they have decided to imitate the decision and prohibit the flight of planes registered in these countries.
George Holan is chief editor at Plainsmen Post and has articles published in many notable publications in the last decade.