Western countries, Australia and Japan announced sanctions on Russian banks, oligarchs and other wealthy individuals.
New sanctions have been imposed on Russia by the West, Japan and Australia for ordering troops into separatist regions of eastern Ukraine.
There are also threats of going further with the sanctions if Moscow was to launch an all-out invasion of its neighbor.
The United States, the European Union, Britain, Australia, Canada and Japan announced plans to target banks and wealthy individuals while Germany halted a major gas pipeline project from Russia in one of the worst security crises in Europe in decades.
The measures, accompanied by the repositioning of additional US troops to the Baltic nations on NATO’s eastern flank bordering Russia, came as Russian forces rolled into rebel-held breakaway areas in eastern Ukraine after President Vladimir Putin said he was recognizing the independence of the Donetsk and Luhansk separatist regions in defiance of US and European demands.
Here is a list of the sanctions levelled against Russia so far:
In what he called the “first tranche” of sanctions, President Joe Biden signed an executive order on Monday that stipulated any institution in Russia’s financial services sector is a target for further sanctions.
More than 80 percent of Russia’s daily foreign exchange transactions and half its trade are conducted in US dollars.
Washington sanctioned two of Russia’s state-owned banks – VEB and Promsvyazbank – and blocked it from trading in its debt on US and European markets. The two Russian banks are considered especially close to the Kremlin and Russia’s military, with more than $ 80bn in assets.
That includes freezing all of those banks’ assets under US jurisdictions.
Starting on Wednesday, the sanctions include the country’s “elites” and their family members, as well as civilian leaders in Russia’s leadership hierarchy.
On Tuesday, the UK announced sanctions against five Russian banks and three Russian billionaires: Gennady Timchenko, Boris Rotenberg and Igor Rotenberg.
The Rotenbergs are co-owners of SGM Group, which makes oil and gas infrastructure. Timchenko is the owner of private investment firm Volga Group.
The banks are Rossiya Bank, IS Bank, General Bank, Promsvyazbank and Black Sea Bank.
Britain will also stop Russia from selling sovereign debt in London, Foreign Secretary Liz Truss said.
“We are prepared to go much further if Russia does not pull back from the brink,” she said. “We will curtail the ability of the Russian state and Russian companies to raise funds in our markets, prohibit a range of high tech exports, and further isolate Russian banks from the global economy.”
German Chancellor Olaf Scholz announced the halting of the process of certifying the Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline from Russia – a lucrative deal long sought by Moscow but criticized by the US for increasing Europe’s reliance on Russian energy.
The $ 11.6bn project is owned by Russian state-owned gas giant Gazprom.
The 27-member bloc unanimously announced on Tuesday initial sanctions aimed at the 351 Russian politicians who voted for recognizing the two separatist regions in Ukraine, as well as 27 other Russian officials and institutions from the defense and banking sectors.
They also sought to limit Moscow’s access to EU capital and financial markets.
The two countries announced the imposition of stringent penalties on individuals connected with the aggression against Ukraine.
Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison targeted members of Russia’s Security Council for “behaving like thugs and bullies”.
Japan’s sanctions include banning the issuance of Russian bonds in Japan and freezing the assets of certain Russian individuals as well as restricting travel to Japan, Prime Minister Fumio Kishida said.