In coordination with its allies and partners, the United States took additional measures against the Russian financial system in response to Russia’s war against Ukraine. “Unwavering in our support for Ukraine’s sovereignty and territorial integrity, we will continue to act with our allies and partners in imposing costs on Russia if it continues its war of choice,” declared Secretary of State Antony Blinken in a statement.
The U.S. Department of the Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control, or OFAC, prohibited any U.S. person from conducting any transaction involving the Central Bank of the Russian Federation, the National Wealth Fund of the Russian Federation, or the Ministry of Finance of the Russian Federation. In addition, OFAC imposed blocking sanctions on the Russian Direct Investment Fund, a known slush fund for Russian President Vladimir Putin and his inner circle, two of its subsidiaries, and CEO Kirill Dmitriev.
Secretary Blinken said the United States took these “actions to impair Russia’s ability to use its international reserves in ways that undermine the impact of our sanctions, as well as to prevent Russia from accessing its wealth fund for use in its ongoing war against Ukraine.”
These latest sanctions come after the Society for Worldwide Interbank Financial Telecommunication, or SWIFT, agreed to remove key Russian banks from its system, a step that will sever the country from much of the global financial system. Moscow’s exclusion from SWIFT means Russian banks won’t be able to communicate securely with banks beyond their border. The U.S. and its allies also announced they will impose restrictive measures aimed at preventing Russia’s central bank from deploying its international reserves in ways that may undermine sanctions.
The United States will continue to coordinate closely with its partners and allies to impose severe consequences on Russia for its war against Ukraine. “We share with our partners and allies,” said Secretary Blinken, “unity of purpose, resolve, and determination to hold Russia to account for its aggression, particularly those responsible for this war of choice.”