Russia could be cut off from world financial system – media
The White House is plotting new sanctions designed to suffocate Russia's banking system if Moscow chooses to invade Ukraine, Reuters reported on Monday.
Citing three anonymous sources “familiar with the matter,” Washington is also planning to target certain Russian individuals and companies by freezing their foreign assets and banning them from using US dollars to conduct international transactions.
“President Joe Biden's administration has prepared an initial package of sanctions against Russia that includes barring US financial institutions from processing transactions for major Russian banks,” Reuters reported. The White House, however, has refused to comment.
American sanctions are designed to hurt the Russian economy by excluding it from the global trade networks, as most international transactions are conducted in US dollars. With the package of measures still being finalized, it is still unknown which banks will be targeted. However, experts cited by the news agency believe that Russia's top financial actors such as Sberbank, Gazprombank, and VTB are the most likely candidates, alongside wealthy individuals with ties to the Kremlin and other Russian tycoons.
Similar threats have also been made by Brussels. Earlier on Sunday, in an interview with German TV channel ARD, the European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen declared that the EU would impose new sanctions to ensure Moscow is “practically cut off from international financial markets” if it invades Ukraine.
The measures will be aimed at holding back the Russian economy by preventing it from further modernization, the Eurocrat explained.
Since November last year, the Kremlin has been repeatedly accused of placing more than 100,000 of its troops on the border with Ukraine with the intent of launching an invasion. Russia has repeatedly denied the accusation, stating that it is conducting drills in the area.