US imposes Russia-related sanctions on 18 individuals, several entities: Treasury
The new sanctions targeted Putin's adult daughters and his former wife, as well as Russia's biggest banks.
The White House slapped penalties against Russia's top public and private banks, as well as two of Vladimir Putin's daughters, on Wednesday, putting additional pressure on the country's economy and elite in response to the special operation in Ukraine.
The new sanctions targeted Putin's adult daughters with his former wife, Lyudmila Shkrebneva, Maria Vorontsova, and Katerina Tikhonova.
The wife and daughter of Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov, as well as members of Russia's Security Council, including former President and Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev and Prime Minister Mikhail Mishustin, were also sanctioned.
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"These individuals have enriched themselves at the expense of the Russian people. Some of them are responsible for providing the support necessary to underpin Putin’s war on Ukraine," the White House said in a statement.
"We believe that many of Putin's assets are hidden with family members, and that's why we're targeting them," a senior US official told reporters, referring to the two daughters.
The White House declared "full blocking" sanctions on Russia's largest public and private financial institutions, Sberbank and Alfa-Bank, saying that all new US investments in Russia are now prohibited.
It also stated that further sanctions against key Russian state firms would be published on Thursday, to impede their capacity to trade and move money via the global financial system.
Energy transactions "exempted"
The additional sanctions were being coordinated with US partners in Europe and internationally to significantly harm Russia's economy and put pressure on Putin to end the war.
"Today, in alignment with G7 allies and partners, we are intensifying the most severe sanctions ever levied on a major economy," the official said on grounds of anonymity.
The restrictions imposed on the two banks expanded on a previous measure that barred some capital transactions with them.
Any assets owned by the bank that are or will be subject to US jurisdiction will be frozen, and people and companies subject to US jurisdiction will be barred from doing business with them.
This might have a severe impact on Sberbank, which controls about one-third of the Russian banking industry's assets.
The US sanctions, however, continued to elude Russia's energy sector, which continues to earn millions of dollars every day from European clients for its natural gas.
Energy-related transactions at the two banks will still be permitted, the White House said.