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U.S. to strengthen sanctions on banks assisting Russia

U.S. to strengthen sanctions on banks assisting Russia Photo: Joe Biden, President of U.S. (Vitalii Nosach, RBC-Ukraine)

On December 22, President Joe Biden signed an executive order to strengthen sanctions on financial institutions that assist Russia, according to the White House.

Biden cited the fact that Russia continues to use its military-industrial base to support efforts to undermine security in countries and regions vital to the national security of the United States.

Now, the US Secretary of the Treasury will be authorized to impose sanctions on foreign financial organizations, as stipulated by the subparagraph, if it is determined that a foreign financial organization:

  • Engaged in or facilitated any significant transaction in the technology, defense, construction, aerospace, or manufacturing sectors of the Russian Federation's economy;

  • Engaged in or facilitated any significant transaction or transactions, or provided any service, related to the Russian military-industrial base;

  • prohibit the opening of, or prohibit or impose strict conditions on the maintenance of, correspondent accounts or payable-through accounts in the United States;

  • Block all property and interests in property located in the United States.

Who is affected: Biden also defined the term "foreign financial institution." It is stated that this refers to any foreign organization engaged in receiving deposits; issuing, lending, transferring, storing, or brokering loans or credits; buying or selling foreign currency, securities, futures, or options.

This includes depository institutions, banks, savings associations, money service businesses, credit card system operators, trust companies, insurance companies, securities brokers and dealers, and other institutions.

Sanctions against Russia

Recall that in 2023, the United States and its allies focused on measures that would prevent Russia from evading sanctions. In particular, Washington has recently intensified measures against companies helping Moscow export oil above the price ceiling of $60.

Overall, the U.S. government intends to halve Russia's revenues from oil and gas exports by 2030.