MILAN, Italy – The U.S. taking additional sanction to increase economic pressure on Russian and President Vladimir Putin following horrific images from the Ukrainian city of Bucha, announcing new sanctions Wednesday on Russian financial institutions, as well as some people, including Putin’s adult daughters and the wife and daughter of his foreign minister.
‘Today we’re dramatically escalating the financial shock by imposing full blocking sanctions on Russia’s largest financial institution, Sberbank, and its largest private bank, Alfa Bank’, a senior administration official briefing reporters said.
Sberbank holds nearly one – third of Russia’s total banking sector assets, the official noted, adding that the U.S. has now fully blocked ‘more than two – thirds of the Russian banking sector’.
Second, the senior official announced, ‘In alignment with the G7 and the E.U. Russian elites and their family members, including Putin’s adult daughters Mariya Putina and Katerina Tikhonova, Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov’s wife and daughter and members of Russia’s Security Council, including former President and Prime Minister Dimitry Medvedev and Prime Minister Mikhail Mishustin. The U.S. has already sanctioned more than 140 oligarchs and their family members and over 400 Russian government Officials, the senior official said.
The U.S.will also apply full blocking sanctions on critical major Russian state – owned enterprises, which will be announced by the Department of Treasury on Thursday. The official also noted Tuesday’s announcement that the Department of Treasury has blocked Russia from making debit payments with dollars stockpiled at U.S. banks.
The senior official noted the crippling effect of U.S. measures on the Russian economy since its invasion of Ukraine.
‘Russia’s GDP is projected to shrink by double digits this year … It’s not in the process of being isolated as a pariah state. The economic shock this year alone is projected by the IMF (International Monetary Fund) to wipe out the past 15 years of economic gains’, the official said.
Pressed about the efficacy of sanctions in ending Putin’s war in Ukraine, the senior official sought to underscore the effect they are having on life in Russian and said Putin would eventually have to reckon with his people.