Sanctions against Russia pile up after Ukraine attack
Major economic powers have laid sanctions against Russia for its recognition of ORDLO, the Luhansk and Donetsk areas outside of the control of the Ukrainian government on Feb. 21. Here is a selected list of sanctions to date:
U.S. - A first set of sanctions directly related to those operating within LNR/DNR were announced on Feb. 21. On Feb. 22, the Treasury Department imposed sanctions on Russian sovereign debt, two small state owned banks, and “Kremlin-connected elite”, a statement from the department reads. In a press conference with U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken on Feb. 22, Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba stated that the rolling sanctions are welcome for as long as they maintain pressure on Putin.
EU - A set of sanctions against Russian government figures, including the 351 State Duma members who supported the Donbas vote, is expected to be signed by EU foreign ministers on Feb. 23. Germany has already revoked the energy security report necessary for Nord Stream II certification.
China - The Chinese government stated on Feb. 23 that no sanctions against Russia would be forthcoming because, despite over 100 sanctions already set by the U.S. government, “Have U.S. sanctions really solved the problem?”, nytimes.com reported.
Japan - No new Russian sovereign debt will be issued or distributed, and those linked to the break-away regions will have assets frozen, nytimes.com reported.
Australia - Prime Minister Scott Morrison stated that financial and visa sanctions would be set against members of Russia’s national security council, among others. Also, Ukrainian visa applications “would be moved to the top of the pile”, the Australian Broadcasting Service reported.
Canada - Prime minister Justin Trudeau rolled out bans on trading in Russian sovereign debt, and stated that sanctions against Russian MPs and others would be introduced in the near future.
James Hydzik: The initial wave of sanctions is not very impressive given the focus on some banks, sovereign debt and MPs. The sanctions have to leave room for further escalation, unfortunately, but are they strong enough to make an impression immediately? It is possible that for the short term, Russia has moved beyond worrying about sanctions and is focused mostly on the military consequences of recognizing the Donbas regimes. However, these sanctions will not be easily brushed aside later.