As Russia’s invasion of its neighbour Ukraine persists, leaders across the globe have responded with crippling sanctions against Moscow and Russian President Vladimir Putin in recent days.
The sanctions range from bans on banking and investments to asset freezes against Russian leaders, oligarchs and their families, as well as denied access to airports and airspace. Russia’s access to the SWIFT international payment system, considered crucial by many to the national and world economy, has also been reduced. Some nations support the unprecedented action of removing Russia from SWIFT altogether.
What has governments around the world done so far to hinder Russia from further escalating violence against Ukraine? Here’s a rundown.
The Treasury Department’s Office of Foreign Assets Control imposed restrictions on Russia’s two largest banks – Public Joint Stock Company Sberbank of Russia (Sberbank) and VTB Bank Public Joint Stock Company (VTB Bank) – and almost 90 financial institution subsidiaries around the world Thursday. Sanctions were also imposed against Russian elites and their families, along with prohibitions regarding new debt and equity of major Russian state-owned enterprises and large privately-owned financial institutions.
The Treasury Department, along with key allies, targeted nearly 80% of all banking assets in Russia, barring the country from the global financial system and potentially affecting Russia’s economy for years to come.
The White House said Friday that the administration is preparing individual sanctions on Putin and Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov, likely to include travel bans. On Saturday, the U.S. government and allies moved to block certain Russian banks’ access to SWIFT. Putin and Lavrov are also banned from accessing any assets within reach of U.S. officials and anyone in the U.S. is not permitted to do business with them.
European Union leaders Friday vowed to freeze Putin’s assets, and foreign leaders unveiled additional sanctions Friday targeting Russian elites The list of individuals sanctioned grew Sunday.
The E.U. also agreed Sunday to close airspace to Russian airlines and ban some pro-Kremlin media outlets.
British Prime Minister Boris Johnson introduced a 10-point sanctions package against Russia on Thursday. It includes an asset freeze against the country’s two largest banks and blocks major Russian companies from raising finance in Britain.
Russian national airline Aeroflot was also banned from flying in U.K. airspace or landing in the country’s airports. U.K. Transport Secretary Grant Shapps said Friday the ban would extend to all Russian private jets.
Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced Thursday Canada would impose “new and severe” sanctions on 62 individuals and entities the country deemed responsible for Russia’s attack on Ukraine.
According to a Feb. 24 press release, those sanctions include:
- Restrictions on 58 Russian individuals and entities, including banks, financial elites and their families
- Sanctions on members of the Russian Security Council
- Restrictions on four Ukrainian people “for their collaboration with Russia to destabilize Ukraine”
- Restrictions on exports to Russia by way of halting new export permit applications and cancelling valid export permits, excluding “critical medical supply chains”
Canada’s first sanctions were initiated on Feb. 22, when the country said it would prevent Canadians from engaging in purchases of Russian sovereign debt and financial dealings with rebel-controlled territories Luhansk and Donetsk, Reuters reported. The government also said it would sanction members of the Russian parliament who voted to recognize those territories as independent and two Russian state-backed banks.
Canada supports cutting some Russian banks from the SWIFT financial network, the Wall Street Journal reported.
Japan said Saturday it would cut off some Russian banks from the SWIFT financial network, alongside the U.S. and the E.U., the Wall Street Journal reported. It will also sanction Russian officials. Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida said he would freeze the assets of Putin and other Russian government officials, according to the Journal.
Those sanctions compound with ones Kishida announced Friday, including a halt on exporting military-use goods, Reuters reported.
The Czech Republic on Friday banned Russian airlines from flying to its country and is reportedly mulling additional sanctions, Reuters reported. Prague also plans to quicken its exit from two international banks set up in the Soviet era, as the finance ministry analyzes Russian companies’ access to Czech public funds, Al-Jazeera reported.
Taiwan Premier Su Tseng-chang said Friday the nation would join “democratic countries” in sanctioning Russia, Al-Jazeera reported. She did not specify what those sanctions would be but said the country would “harshly scrutinize” exports to Russia and “coordinate” with allies for further actions.
Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison introduced the first wave of sanctions Wednesday, imposing travel bans and financial consequences on eight members of Russia’s Security Council. Parliament also implemented investment restrictions with several Russian banks.
The government moved Saturday to directly sanction Putin, members of Russia’s parliament and some oligarchs.
New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said Thursday that her country’s lack of an autonomous sanctions law wouldn’t stop it from joining in the global condemnation of Russia, the Wall Street Journal reported.
New Zealand will implement travel bans on Russian government officials and other affiliated parties, place a ban on exports to Russia’s military and stop consultations between the Russian and New Zealand foreign ministries, according to the Wall Street Journal.