U.S. sanctions on Russia
April 15, 2021 - The Biden administration has launched long-awaited measures against Russia -- including far-reaching financial sanctions -- for disrupting the 2020 election and the hacking of U.S. networks.
In his executive order, President Biden widened restrictions on U.S. banks trading in Russian government debt; expelled 10 Washington-based Russian diplomats, including alleged spies; and sanctioned 32 individuals accused of meddling in the 2020 presidential election.
The executive order bans U.S. lenders from buying new rouble-denominated Russian sovereign bonds from June 14. Russia uses the bond market to finance its budget deficit -- $257 billion at the end of 2020. Foreign pension funds and asset managers hold around $42 billion of rouble-denominated debt.
The U.S. banned American investors from buying new dollar-denominated Russian debt in 2014 after the Kremlin annexed Ukraine’s Crimea Peninsula.
Russia’s foreign intelligence service, the SVR, was formally accused of carrying out the so-called SolarWinds hack of U.S. government and corporate computer systems. The Kremlin will face unseen measures -- expanded cyber operations against the SVR. Other cyber options include revealing or freezing hidden assets held by Putin or exposing his links to oligarchs.
In March, the Biden administration imposed sanctions on seven senior members of the Russian government for poisoning Russian opposition leader Aleksei Navalny.
- Biden Administration to Impose Tough Sanctions on Russia (New York Times)
- U.S. to Sanction Russia, Expel Diplomats Over Alleged Election Interference, Hacking (Wall Street Journal)
- All About the U.S. Sanctions Aimed at Putin’s Russia (Bloomberg)
- Foreigners' share in Russia's government bonds nears five-year low as sanction fears increase (Reuters)