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US Slaps New Sanctions on Russian Banks & Politicians, Bans New Investments

© Sputnik / Natalia Seliverstova / Go to the mediabankOfficial residence of the U.S. President, the White House in Washington D.C.
Official residence of the U.S. President, the White House in Washington D.C. - Sputnik International, 1920, 06.04.2022
The new round of sanctions comes on top of a spate of measures imposed on Moscow by the US and its European allies in response to the start of the special military operation in Ukraine on 24 February. The Kremlin said that the operation was launched to defend the Donetsk and Lugansk People's republics (DPR and LPR) from Ukrainian aggression.
The White House has announced a new round of sanctions targeting Russia for its special military operation in Ukraine. New economic blocking measures target two of the country's biggest banks, Sberbank and Alfa Bank, preventing all operations with them with the exception of payments for Russian energy resources.
The US also decided to issue waivers from the anti-Russia sanctions for various humanitarian operations. The White House said it had cut Russia off from the frozen assets of its central bank in the US and that Moscow will have to find new ways to get dollars and route payments to avoid defaulting on its foreign bonds.
"In total, we’ve now fully blocked more than two-thirds of the Russian banking sector, which before the invasion held about $1.4 trillion in assets", a senior administration official said.
The official also said that the White House - along with G7 countries and the European Union - is planning to issue a ban on all new investments in the Russian market. The US also plans to target several large Russian state-owned corporations with new sanctions on 7 April.

"Russia used to be the 11th-largest economy in the world. It is now very likely to drop out of the top 20", the official claimed during a press briefing.

US President Joe Biden linked the new round of sanctions to Kiev's claims about Russian soldiers killing civilians in the city of Bucha. Moscow rejected the accusations, calling them another Ukraine "provocation", which was presumed to have been designed to thwart ongoing peace talks. The western countries echoed Kiev's claims even though they have not been thoroughly and independently investigated.
The White House noted that the state of the sanctions might change depending on the situation in Ukraine. If Russian President Vladimir Putin were to change his course on Ukraine, American sanctions could be slowed down or possibly reversed, the senior official said.

Personal Sanctions

Apart from banning investments and limiting Russian banks' access to dollars, Washington also introduced a series of sanctions against Russian nationals. That list includes Russian Prime Minister, Mikhail Mishustin, and Deputy head of the Russian Security Council, Dmitry Medvedev.
Furthermore, the White House introduced sanctions against individuals, whom it believes to be daughters of President Vladimir Putin, as well as the wife and daughter of Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov.
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