Waves of sanctions hit Russia

With Russia invading Ukraine, the western world has taken a tough stance against Ukraine. Various western countries have started to deliver hard-hitting sanctions against Russia and its economic and political elites.

Various countries that have sanctioned Russia are as follows:

  • USA:

The US has initiated sanctions by attacking Russia’s banking sector first. It has cut-off Russia’s major banks from the US financial systems by freezing their assets and prohibiting Americans from doing business with them. The US has also blacklisted the banks’ subsidiaries. Among the largest banks which are blacklisted are VTB Bank, Sberbank, Bank Otkrite, and others. The US has also sanctioned 13 critical Russian entities from raising new debt and even trade in the US financial markets.

Moreover, the US has placed additional sanctions which have fully blocked the Russian elites and their family members and individuals “who have enriched themselves at the expense of the common Russians”.

The US government has imposed severe sanctions on the defence, aviation, technology, and maritime sectors. All sales of US items in these industries to Russia have been restricted, and the export of such items has been denied.

The Americans have sanctioned not only Russians but also Belarusians for backing the “Russian cause.” Two dozen entities and individuals have been severely affected by the sanctions. The US has also begun the process of giving licensing exemptions to countries that follow a similar suit.

  • Canada:

Among the many nations which have sanctioned Russia, Canada is not far behind crippling Russia. Canada has stated that sanctions have been unveiled that have targeted members of the Russian elite and their families. Canada has also placed sanctions on the Wagner group (a private military organization), major banks and other political elite entities. Canada has also cancelled all existing export permits to Russia and has also stopped issuing new permits to it.

Canada has also banned Canadians from financially dealing with Donetsk and Luhansk.

  • The UK:

The UK was not far behind in sanctioning Russia and its various entities. In its 10-point sanctions package, the British government stated that it would impose an asset freeze on some of the major banks of Russia. Moreover, it would stop major Russian companies from raising capital in Britain. The UK has also sanctioned various political and economic entities such as Kirill Shamalov (Putin’s once son-in-law) and Pyotr Fradkov. The British government has also banned Russia’s flagship airline, Aeroloft from landing in Britain. Britain has suspended dual export licenses to Russia while banning exports of high-end technology to it.

  • Australia:

Australia has also imposed heavy sanctions on Russia and its entities. PM Morrison has stated that Australia will be placing significant sanctions against the Russian oligarchs. Moreover, over 300 members of the Russian parliament who had authorized sending Russian troops into Ukraine will be sanctioned heavily as well. Australia has stated that it would also levy sanctions against Belarusian entities for supporting the invasion. PM Morrison said the sanctions against Belarus will be along the lines of US sanctions.

  • New Zealand:

Another country that followed the footsteps of its western allies, New Zealand has also punished Russia through bans. New Zealand’s PM Jacinda Ardern has announced several moves against Russia. She announced that there would be an export ban on the Russian military as well as several other trade items. She also stated that there would be travel bans for several Russian entities.

  • Japan:

Japanese PM Fumio Kishida on Friday announced that Russia would be facing sanctions. The sanctions include a variety of bans and controls. Japan has included measures to control the exports of semiconductors and other high-tech products. Japan has also placed an asset freeze held by the Russian financial institutions and has suspended visa issuance for certain Russian individuals and entities.

Translation: << Movement of the Prime Minister >> Today (February 23), Prime Minister Kishida held a press conference at the Prime Minister’s Office on sanctions and other measures based on the situation in Ukraine.

▼ Click here for the full press conference

  • The European Union:

The European Union has also unveiled one of the strongest sanction packages against Russia. It has decided to extend restrictive measures to cover all the 351 members of the Russian Duma, who voted for the war. Additionally, the EU has extended these restrictions on 27 high profile individuals and entities for supporting and playing a key role in the war. These entities include oligarchs, politicians, bankers and so on.

These restrictive measures include asset freeze, travel ban and a prohibition from making funds available to the restricted entities.

Moreover, the EU has agreed to import a ban on goods from the regions of Donetsk and Luhansk and placed restrictions on trade and investments related to certain economic sectors. The EU has further banned tourism in the area and banned the export of certain goods and technologies. Furthermore, the EU has chosen to restrict the Russian state and government’s capacity to access the EU’s capital and financial markets.


References: Reuters, Japan Times, The Hill and Consilium Europa

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