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The United States has announced sanctions against Russian President Vladimir Putin’s two adult daughters, Mariya Putina and Katerina Tikhonova.
The latest move is partly in response to scenes in the Ukrainian town of Bucha, near kyiv, where more than 300 bodies were discoveredincluding civilians with their hands tied behind their backs.
The sanctions will also target Prime Minister Mikhail Mishustin, the wife and children of Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov, as well as members of the Russian Security Council, including Dmitry Medvedev, former president and prime minister.
The United States believes that many of the Russian leader’s assets are hidden by members of his family.
The sanctions will cut off all close family members of Mr. Putin from the US financial system and freeze any assets they hold in America.
Ukraine live news: New major Russian offensive ‘likely in days’ – as new sanctions target Putin’s children
The United States is also tightening sanctions against Russian banks in retaliation for alleged war crimes in Ukraine.
President Joe Biden, who is signing an executive order barring further US investment in Russia, has called the latest round of sanctions “devastating”.
“I have made it clear that Russia will pay a severe and immediate price for its atrocities in Bucha,” Biden tweeted.
To analyse: The ‘easy-to-do’ penalties have now been imposed, but there’s a lot more to do
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In a statement, the White House said: “The United States, together with the G7 and the European Union, will continue to impose serious and immediate economic costs on the Putin regime for its atrocities in Ukraine, including Bucha.” .
The White House also said that if Mr Putin were to change course in Ukraine, US sanctions could potentially slow and possibly reverse.
The latest US action will freeze all Sberbank and Alfa Bank assets touching the US financial system and ban anyone from America from doing business with them.
The sweeping financial sanctions follow earlier action by the West this week to cut frozen funds from Russia to the United States to make debt payments.
Sberbank owns almost a third of all Russian banking sector assets and is routinely essential to the Russian economy.
Alfa Bank is the largest private financial institution in Russia and the fourth largest financial institution in Russia.
UK announces new sanctions against Russia
The UK also announced a significant increase in its sanctions against Russia.
The fifth wave of British measures includes asset freezes against major banks, a ban on British investment in Russia and a pledge to end dependence on Russian coal and oil by the end of the year.
Announcing the package, Foreign Secretary Liz Truss said: “Today we are stepping up our campaign to end Putin’s appalling war with some of our toughest sanctions yet.
“Our latest wave of measures will end UK imports of Russian energy and sanction even more individuals and companies, decimating Putin’s war machine.
“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 wins.”
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The main penalties announced today include:
- Freezing of assets of Sberbank and Credit Bank of Moscow;
- A pure and simple ban on all new investment in Russia. In 2020, British investments in Russia were worth over £11 billion;
- By the end of 2022, the UK will end all reliance on Russian coal and oil and end gas imports as soon as possible thereafter. From next week, the export of key oil refining equipment and catalysts will also be banned, degrading Russia’s ability to produce and export oil – targeting not only industry finances but its capabilities as a whole;
- Action against key Russian strategic industries and state-owned enterprises – including a ban on imports of steel products, a key source of revenue. Russia’s military ambitions are also being thwarted by new restrictions on its ability to acquire the UK’s world-renowned advanced quantum and material technologies.
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