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Treasury Imposes Blocking Sanctions on Russia’s Top Financial Institutions; Janet Yellen Quoted

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The U.S. Department of the Treasury has announced additional economic sanctions on Russia’s financial institutions and expanded debt and equity prohibitions in response to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

The Treasury’s office of foreign assets control imposed blocking sanctions on Russia’s two largest banks – Sberbank and VTB – and three major financial institutions – Otkritie, Novikom and Sovcom – to further restrict Russia’s critical economic sector from utilizing the U.S. dollar, securing investments and accessing global markets, the department said Thursday.

Our actions, taken in coordination with partners and allies, will degrade Russia’s ability to project power and threaten the peace and stability of Europe. We are united in our efforts to hold Russia accountable for its further invasion of Ukraine while mitigating impacts to Americans and our partners,” said Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen.

OFAC also broadened equity and debt restrictions against 13 major state-owned and private entities to limit Russia’s ability to fund its invasion of Ukraine and other priorities.

The Treasury is also imposing sanctions on additional Russian elites and their family members that have ties to Russian President Vladimir Putin and his government.

“If necessary, we are prepared to impose further costs on Russia in response to its egregious actions,” added Yellen.

U.S. President Biden on Tuesday announced the first tranche of economic sanctions as part of efforts to cut off Russia’s access to international financing in light of its actions in Ukraine.