U.S. sanctions more Russian politicians and oligarchs
Why it matters: The new wave of sanctions is part of a larger strategy aimed at crippling the Russian economy and leaders who have enabled Russia's unprovoked attacks.
- The Biden administration had previously imposed a series of sanctions that included sweeping export controls and a freeze on billions of dollars in Russian assets.
Details: Those targeted include Russian parliamentarians who lobbied for Putin's recognition of two separatist republics, a Russian Security Council official, family members of Putin's spokesperson, billionaire Viktor Vekselberg and the management board of the sanctioned VTB Bank.
- The sanctions mean their property and interests in the U.S. are now blocked and must be reported to the Treasury Department's Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC).
- U.S. transactions involving the individuals are also barred unless authorized by the OFAC.
What they're saying: "Treasury continues to hold Russian officials to account for enabling Putin’s unjustified and unprovoked war," Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen said in a statement.
- "Today’s actions also further isolates the severely damaged Russian economy by prohibiting trade in products that are key to the economic and financial interests of all Russian elites."
- "We welcome the strong partnership and unity we have built with our allies and partners across the globe in the face of the Russia’s aggression against Ukraine," Secretary of State Antony Blinken said in a Friday statement that summed up recent actions against Russia.
- "Together, we are supporting the people of Ukraine and imposing severe costs and consequences for the Kremlin’s war of choice."
The big picture: President Joe Biden has also taken action to cut off Russia's access to the SWIFT international banking system, ban imports of Russian oil, reimpose sanctions on Nord Stream 2 and revoke Russia's "most favored nation" trade status with the U.S.