First round of Western sanctions on Russia

US sanctions announced on Tuesday target two state-owned banks the US has said are key to Russia’s defense sector. They will no longer be able to do business in the US or access the American financial system. Also targeted are five key Russian elites plus added restrictions on US deals involving Russia’s national debt. President Biden said that wider sanctions depended on whether the Russians moved further into Ukraine.

In its first round of measures, the European Union is sanctioning 27 Russian individuals and organizations, including banks. It is also limiting access to European capital markets, including banks and banning trade between the EU and the two rebel-held regions of Eastern Ukraine, whose independence Moscow recognized. Some 351 members of Russia’s Duma, parliament’s lower house, are also being targeted with sanctions for voting to ratify this recognition.

German chancellor Olaf Scholz  said he would put on hold the Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline project from Russia. UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced sanctions against five Russian banks and three wealthy Russian oligarchs.

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