Search
  • Thomas Cole

West hits big Russian banks in latest sanctions

US and UK also target Putin's family with further EU measures pending


The US and the UK went after key elements of the Russian economy on Wednesday, in their latest round of sanctions on the country.


The co-ordinated effort included the US targeting two of Russia's largest financial institutions, Sberbank and Alfabank, and Vladimir Putin's daughters.


The UK is to wind-down all Russian oil and coal imports by the end of the year and is putting asset freezes in places against Sberbank and Creditbank.


From the EU's side, as of 20:00 GMT Wednesday, no additional sanctions had been signed-off. On Tuesday, the European Commission had proposed an import ban on Russian coal, amongst other measures. EU member state diplomats were working on finalising the EU's proposals on Wednesday.


Western allies adamant that Russian must be punished


US Secretary of Defense, Antony Blinken said that the United States would "continue to impose economic costs on Russia for their actions through economic sanctions".


The UK Foreign Secretary, Liz Truss said "Together with our allies, we are showing the Russian elite that they cannot wash their hands of the atrocities committed on Putin’s orders. We will not rest until Ukraine prevails."


"Together with our allies, we are showing the Russian elite that they cannot wash their hands of the atrocities committed on Putin’s orders." Liz Truss, UK Foreign Secretary

EU also considering Russian oil import ban


Earlier on Wednesday, European Commission President, Ursula von der Leyen and European Council President, Charles Michel indicated that they felt the EU would need to go further in its own sanctions by banning the import of certain Russian hydro-carbons.


Both Presidents were addressing a plenary session of the European Parliament.


Mr Michel said "I think measures on oil and even gas will also be needed sooner or later."


Ms von der Leyen added "These will not be our last sanctions...Now we have to look into oil."


"I think measures on oil and even gas will also be needed sooner or later." Charles Michel, European Council President

Watch: European Council President, Charles Michel says the EU will need to do more on oil and gas "sooner or later"

Sanctions overview


The United States:


  • US asset freeze and prohibition of US citizens dealing with Russia’s largest financial institution, Sberbank, and Russia’s largest private bank, Alfa Bank.

  • Prohibition on new investment in the Russia by US citizens.

  • US asset freeze and prohibition of US citizens dealing with 'critical' major Russian state-owned enterprises.

  • US asset freeze on Vladimir Putin's family and inner circle, including his daughters and the former Prime Minister of Russia, Dmitry Medvedev.

  • US Treasury prohibiting Russia from making debt payments with funds subject to U.S. jurisdiction. This could lead to a default by Russia on its debt payments with any creditors covered by US law.


The United Kingdom:


  • Asset freezes against Sberbank, Russia's largest bank and Credit Bank of Moscow.

  • An ban on all new UK investment to Russia.

  • By the end of 2022, the UK will end all imports of Russian coal and oil, and end imports of gas as soon as possible thereafter.

  • The export of key oil refining equipment and catalysts will also be banned

  • A ban on imports of iron and steel products and and restrictions on Russian accessing quantum and advanced material technologies.

  • 8 further oligarchs sanctioned


NATO warns that allies need to be involved for the "long-haul"


Elsewhere on Wednesday, NATO Secretary-General, Jens Stoltenberg warned that the war in Ukraine could last "years". He said NATO allies would need to be involved for the "long-haul".


"This may last for even years and that's the reason why we need also to be prepared for the long-haul" Jens Stoltenberg, NATO Secretary-General

Watch: NATO Secretary-General, Jens Stoltenberg says allies must be prepared for the "long haul"

Mr Stoltenberg was addressing reporters ahead of a meeting of NATO Foreign Ministers taking place this evening and tomorrow.


Ukraine's Foreign Minister, Dmytro Kuleba will address the meeting tomorrow. In a sign of growing western co-operation, the Foreign Ministers of Australia, Japan, New Zealand and South Korea will also attend.

9 views0 comments