The US has imposed “severe and swift costs” on Russia after Putin’s annexation of Ukraine


The United States is imposing what it describes as “swift and severe costs” on Russia, including sanctions on a figure the Biden administration says is key to Russia’s economy, after President Vladimir Putin announced the annexation of the Ukrainian region, according to the West. fake referendums”.

Putin signed documents on Friday to formally begin the process of annexing four Ukrainian regions at a Kremlin ceremony, a clear violation of international law amid Russia’s invasion of Ukraine seven months ago.

In response, the US is announcing sanctions in coordination with its G7 allies.

A Biden administration official said the U.S. is “targeting additional Russian government officials and leaders, their family members, Russian and Belarusian military officials, and defense procurement networks, including international suppliers that support the Russian military-industrial complex” through the department’s announcements. Finance, Commerce and the State.

It includes Treasury Department sanctions against a key player in keeping Russia’s economy afloat: Elvira Nabiullina, the economist who has led Russia’s central bank since 2013.

President Joe Biden strongly condemned Russia’s annexation of Ukrainian territory in a statement on Friday.

“The United States condemns today’s fraudulent attempt by Russia to annex the sovereign territory of Ukraine. Russia is violating international law, violating the Charter of the United Nations, and showing contempt for peaceful nations everywhere,” Biden said, adding that these actions are “illegitimate” and that Ukraine will “always respect internationally recognized borders.”

He also “asked all international members to reject Russia’s annexation attempts and stand by the Ukrainian people.”

Secretary of State Antony Blinken said Friday: “The United States unequivocally rejects Russia’s fraudulent attempt to change Ukraine’s internationally recognized borders.”

“We will continue our strong and coordinated efforts to hold Russia accountable, cut off Russia’s military from global trade, and severely limit its ability to sustain aggression and project power,” he said.

Putin has spent years building up his defenses, hoarding hundreds of billions in foreign currency reserves, bringing much of Russia’s industrial base under state control and selling off Russia’s vast energy resources to the world. US officials readily acknowledge that Nabiullina has done an effective job of managing Russia in this early phase of sanctions, as she did in 2014 when Putin’s annexation of Crimea prompted a less severe round of Western sanctions.

This time, Nabiullina has deftly raised interest rates, imposed capital controls and looked for loopholes and solutions to float the beleaguered economy.

“A good central bank can do things to stimulate money,” a senior US official said earlier this year. “They have a very good central banker. We knew that then; we know now.”

Among Biden administration officials, Nabiullina is seen as perhaps the most effective of all Putin’s top lieutenants.

The US also imposes sanctions on relatives of members of Russia’s National Security Council, visa restrictions on Ochur-Suge Mongush for human rights violations, 14 international suppliers to Russia’s military supply chains, and adds 57 new entities to the Export Trade Organizations List. controls, said the officials. In addition, Blinken announced that the State Department is imposing visa restrictions on “910 individuals, including members of the military of the Russian Federation, military officers of Belarus, and representatives of Russia in violation of the sovereignty, territorial integrity and political independence of Ukraine.”

And the US is warning, the official said, that “there will be costs for any person, entity or country that provides political or economic support to Russia as a result of illegal attempts to change the status of Ukrainian territory,” among other things. increased sanctions and risks of export controls” for individuals or entities that do so.

National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan will join Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre on Friday evening to provide more details on the new moves. Jean-Pierre has previously warned that the US will “gather global opposition to Russia’s annexation attempts, including at the United Nations.”