what sanctions are aimed at the Russian economy

Europe and the United States brought down a torrent of sanctions on Russia after the invasion of Ukraine. Here is the summary.

• Energy

The European Union, some of whose member states are very dependent on Russia for energy, finally decided on Thursday evening to stop buying Russian coal from August (45% of its coal imports).

27 have already planned to cut Russian gas imports by two-thirds by the end of the year and forbid Europeans from making new investments in this vital sector for Russia.

Another symbolic decision: the suspension of the Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline, which was supposed to increase Russian gas supplies to Germany.

The UK pledged on Wednesday to stop importing Russian coal, but before the end of the year, as it has already promised to do so with respect to Russian oil and oil products.

The US imposed an embargo on Russian oil and gas imports in early March.

• Transport

On Thursday evening, the European Union announced the closure of its ports to Russian ships. Russian and Belarusian hauliers were also banned from working in the EU.

The airspace of EU member states, as well as the United States, Canada, Switzerland, Norway and Iceland, has already been closed to Russian aircraft, and many airlines have suspended flights to Russia.

The aviation industry is concerned more broadly: a ban on the export of aircraft, spare parts or equipment, the termination of service for aircraft registered in Russia by Airbus and Boeing, a ban on access to insurance and reinsurance services in London.

• Trade

The fifth package of European sanctions, adopted on Thursday, provides for a ban on exports to Russia, in particular, of high-tech goods worth up to 10 billion euros.

The list of Russian goods banned from import into the EU has also been expanded to include some “raw and critical materials” at an estimated cost of 5.5 billion euros per year.

Shortly before the announcement of new European sanctions on Thursday, the US Congress stripped Russia and Belarus of commercial status, stripping them of a most favored nation clause sufficient to impose punitive customs tariffs on imports from both countries.

Imports are simply banned by the US for seafood, vodka and Russian diamonds.

On Wednesday, the United States banned all new investment in Russia and the UK banned all new British investment in the country.

• Finance

Since Monday, the US Treasury has banned Russia from repaying its debt with dollars held in US banks, forcing Moscow to repay $649.2 million in rubles and raising the risk of default.

This week, Washington also imposed a freeze on Russian banking giants Sberbank and Alfa-Bank on all their assets “in contact with the American financial system.”

The United Kingdom has so far frozen $350 billion in foreign exchange from the Russian regime, UK Foreign Secretary Liz Truss estimated on Tuesday.

The US and the EU, followed by other countries, banned all transactions with the Central Bank of Russia and immobilized its foreign currency assets.

Another major blow: the exclusion of the country’s main banks from the Swift interbank system, an important cog in global finance that allows transactions to be exchanged quickly and securely.

• Personalities

Hundreds of Russian figures have been sanctioned, including two daughters of President Vladimir Putin, who were attacked in turn by Washington and Brussels.

On Thursday, the EU expanded its blacklist to 18 organizations and more than 200 additional individuals, which are now subject to an EU travel ban and asset freeze.

Vladimir Putin himself has already been sanctioned, as has his Belarusian counterpart, Alexander Lukashenko, or the head of the Rosneft oil company, Igor Sechin.

London, for its part, has sanctioned 82 oligarchs with £170bn (€200bn) assets, as well as 18 banks with £940bn (€1.120bn) assets, according to a statement released on Wednesday by the British government. . ).

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