.How the World Is Seeking to Put Pressure on Russia

The United States, the European Union and several other countries and entities have expanded their economic sanctions against Russia as punishment for its invasion of Ukraine.

The first actions in the most recent crisis were taken after President Vladimir Putin of Russia signed decrees Monday recognizing Donetsk and Luhansk, two pro-Russian breakaway regions in eastern Ukraine, and then later ordering troops to enter those areas.

The multipronged invasion began in earnest Thursday, prompting the West to widen its efforts to crack down on Russia by targeting Putin’s top allies, the country’s banking system and its access to crucial technology, although some analysts have said the measures do not go far enough.

Here is a closer look at the measures that have been taken so far:

United States

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Tuesday: The Biden administration announced that it would impose sanctions on Russia’s main development bank, VEB, and its military bank, Promsvyazbank, and enact comprehensive curbs on Russia’s sovereign debt, a move intended to cut off the country from Western financing.

Wednesday: President Joe Biden said that he would impose economic sanctions on the company behind Nord Stream 2 — a nearly 800-mile-long natural gas pipeline that is not yet operational — between Russia and Germany. A day earlier, Germany mothballed the project, even though it relies on Russia for 55% of its gas needs. The target of the sanctions is a subsidiary of Gazprom, Russia’s state-controlled energy company.

Thursday: Biden said the United States would cut off Sberbank and VTB Bank, two of Russia’s largest banks, and several large companies from Western financial markets. He also announced sweeping restrictions on technological imports and said that the United States was freezing trillions of dollars in Russian assets, expanding a crackdown on Russian elites and their families, although Putin was not directly targeted.

European Union

Wednesday: The European Union adopted a first round of economic sanctions targeting 27 individuals and entities, including political, military, business and financial organizations, as well as people linked to the decision to recognize Donetsk and Luhansk. The penalties include European Union-wide asset freezes and travel bans. The sanctions also prevent Russian state and regional governments, including state banks, from accessing EU financial and capital markets, freeze the assets of three banks linked to the separatist enclaves and extend trade bans that have been placed on Crimea, the Ukrainian peninsula Russia annexed in 2014.

United Kingdom

Tuesday: The British government slapped targeted economic sanctions on five Russian banks and three wealthy individuals with close ties to Putin. Their British assets were frozen, they were banned from traveling to the country, and British citizens and businesses in Britain would be prohibited from having any dealings with them.

Thursday: Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced an expansion of British sanctions to apply to 100 companies, entities and oligarchs. Five more individuals were banned from the country and had their assets frozen, and the government imposed other measures against all major Russian banks, among other things.


Wednesday: Prime Minister Scott Morrison said Australia would impose travel bans and financial sanctions on eight members of Russia’s national security council, while amending existing sanctions that prohibit trade in sectors including transport, oil and gas to cover Donetsk and Luhansk. He also announced a ban prohibiting Australians from doing business with five Russian banks.

Thursday: The Australian government announced it would expand its sanction list to target 25 Russian military figures and four military technology companies, and it was moving to place restrictions on Australians investing in four financial institutions.


Tuesday: Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced that a first round of sanctions against Russia would ban Canadians from purchasing Russian sovereign debt and from financial dealings with Donetsk and Luhansk. Financial penalties will also apply to members of the Russian parliament who voted for the decision to recognize the separatist regions.

Thursday: Trudeau said that the Canadian government would target 58 individuals and entities, including members of the Russian elite and major Russian banks, with economic sanctions. Canada will also cease granting export permits for Russia.


Wednesday: Prime Minister Fumio Kishida pushed through a package of sanctions prohibiting Russia from issuing new sovereign bonds in Japanese markets, banning any trade with Donetsk and Luhansk, and freezing the assets of representatives of those republics and barring them from receiving visas.

This article originally appeared in The New York Times.


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