Countries around the world are imposing fresh sanctions against Russia over its invasion of Ukraine. The European Union, Japan, Australia, New Zealand and Taiwan all hit Moscow with new injunctions on Friday, condemning the military incursion that unfolded over the past 24 hours, CNN reported.
On Thursday, the United States and United Kingdom also unveiled more measures against Russia as both nations’ leaders condemned the actions of Russian President Vladimir Putin.
Russia is already in some ways paying a price for its aggression, with the country’s stocks and currency tanking this week after Putin’s earlier decision to order troops into eastern Ukraine.
On Thursday, Russia’s main MOEX index closed down 33%, while the ruble sank to a record low, down 7% against the US dollar. It rebounded on Friday, trading at 84.7 versus the US dollar.
Ukraine is also urging the West to ban Russia from SWIFT, the high security network that facilitates payments among 11,000 financial institutions in 200 countries. And earlier in the week, Germany halted certification of the Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline following Moscow’s actions.
Putin warned Russian business leaders on Thursday that he expected further “restrictions” on the economy, but called for business to work “in solidarity” with the government.
Here’s a look at the latest major sanctions.
European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen and French president Emmanuel Macron announced new measures early Friday, vowing to inflict “maximum impact on the Russian economy and political elite.”
“We will hold the Kremlin accountable,” said von der Leyen.
The sanctions are aimed to hit Russia’s financial, energy and transport sectors, and include export controls and trade financing bans.
Von der Leyen said they now target 70% of the Russian banking sector and key state-owned companies, and sought to make “it impossible for Russia to upgrade its oil refineries.”
“We are also targeting Russian elites by curbing their deposits so that they cannot hide their money anymore in safe havens in Europe,” she added.
The sanctions also seek to limit Russia’s access to sensitive technology, as well as aircraft components and equipment.
Japan will impose a range of sanctions targeting Russian financial institutions, military organizations and individuals in response to the invasion of Ukraine, Prime Minister Fumio Kishida announced on Friday.
The range of measures include freezing the assets of certain Russian individuals and financial institutions while also banning exports to Russian military organizations.
“In response to this situation, we will strengthen our sanction measures in close cooperation with the G7 and the rest of the international community,” Kishida said in a press conference on Friday.
Australia’s leader said Friday that it would “begin imposing further sanctions on oligarchs, whose economic weight is of strategic significance to Moscow and over 300 members of the Russian Duma, their parliament.”
Speaking at a press conference on Friday, Prime Minister Scott Morrison added that Canberra was “also working with the United States to align with their further sanctions overnight on key Belarusian individuals and entities complicit in the aggression, so we are extending those sanctions to Belarus.”
The new round of measures came after Australia imposed travel bans and targeted financial sanctions on eight members of the Security Council of the Russian Federation on Thursday.
New Zealand is prohibiting the export of goods to the Russian military and security forces in response to the invasion of Ukraine.
Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern announced Friday that it would cut trade with Russia and impose travel bans against Russian officials as it continued to call for a return to diplomatic dialogue to resolve the crisis.
“Right here and now we need to take immediate action,” Ardern said in a press conference in Wellington.
“This is the blatant use of military might and violence that will take innocent lives and we must stand against it.”
Taiwan announced Friday that it would join the economic sanctions against Russia, without specifying which measures were being considered.
In a statement, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs said on Friday that it “strongly condemns” Russia’s decision to start a war against Ukraine, adding that it has posed a serious threat to the rules-based international order.
The decision to impose sanctions was made “to compel Russia to halt its military aggression against Ukraine, and to restart peaceful dialogue among all parties concerned as soon as possible,” the ministry added.
Taiwan is a global leader in the production of semiconductors.
The United States
US President Joe Biden on Thursday unveiled harsh new measures against Russia, saying: “Putin chose this war.”
The new sanctions include export blocks on technology, a centerpiece of Biden’s approach that he said would severely limit Russia’s ability to advance its military and aerospace sector.
In a statement, the White House said “this includes Russia-wide restrictions on semiconductors, telecommunication, encryption security, lasers, sensors, navigation, avionics and maritime technologies.”
Washington also applied sanctions on Russian banks, and whom it described as “corrupt billionaires” and their families who are close to the Kremlin.
It said it would cut off 13 major state-owned companies from raising money in the United States, including energy giant Gazprom and Sberbank, Russia’s largest financial institution.
The White House also vowed to sanction two dozen Belarusian individuals and companies, which include “two significant Belarusian state-owned banks, nine defense firms, and seven regime-connected official and elites.”
The United Kingdom
The United Kingdom is set to sanction 100 individuals and entities as part of further sanctions against Russia, British Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced on Thursday afternoon.
In a speech to parliament, Johnson said the goal was “to exclude Russian banks from the UK financial system.”
An asset freeze will be imposed on Russian state bank VTB, he added, following the sanctioning of five Russian banks on Tuesday. Russian state and private companies will also be prevented from fundraising in the United Kingdom.
Additionally, 100 individuals and entities will have their assets frozen, Johnson said, adding that this includes “all the major manufacturers that support Putin’s war machine.”
Johnson also said that “nothing is off the table” when it comes to shutting off Russia’s access to SWIFT.
The United Kingdom will ban Russia’s national carrier, Aeroflot, and apply sanctions to Belarus “for its role in the assault on Ukraine,” the prime minister added.
Going forward, Britain is also hoping to bring in legislation “early next week” to ban the export of certain technologies to Russia, particularly “in sectors including electronics, telecommunications, and aerospace,” according to Johnson.
And he outlined plans to establish a new dedicated cell in the country’s National Crime Agency “to target sanctions, evasion and corrupt Russian assets hidden in the UK.”
“We will continue on a remorseless mission to squeeze Russia, from the global economy, piece by piece. Day by day, and week by week,” Johnson told lawmakers.
Charles Riley, Kevin Liptak, Nathan Hodge, Julia Horowitz and Chris Liakos contributed to this report