Treasury Bans Transactions With Russian Central Bank, Wealth Fund; Janet Yellen Quoted

2 mins read

The U.S. Department of the Treasury has prohibited U.S. citizens from carrying out transactions involving Russia’s central bank, national wealth fund and finance ministry as part of additional economic sanctions on Russia’s financial institutions in response to its invasion of Ukraine.

The Treasury’s office of foreign assets control also imposed blocking sanctions on Russian Direct Investment Fund, RDIF CEO Kirill Dmitriev and two of the fund’s subsidiaries to further restrict Russia’s access to the U.S. financial system, the department said Monday.

According to OFAC, RDIF is a known slush fund for President Vladimir Putin, who has close ties to Dmitriev.

“The unprecedented action we are taking today will significantly limit Russia’s ability to use assets to finance its destabilizing activities, and target the funds Putin and his inner circle depend on to enable his invasion of Ukraine,” said Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen. “Today, in coordination with partners and allies, we are following through on key commitments to restrict Russia’s access to these valuable resources.”

On Thursday, OFAC imposed blocking sanctions on Russia’s financial institutions and expanded debt and equity prohibitions in light of the country’s actions in Ukraine.

The leaders of the U.S., Canada, France, Germany, Italy, the U.K. and the European Commission have committed to removing selected Russian banks from the SWIFT messaging system as part of efforts to cut off Russia from the international financing system.

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