Wednesday, July 16, 2014

US Imposes More Sanctions Against Russia

The U.S. Department of the Treasury has just announced that it has imposed a broad-based package of sanctions on entities in the financial services, energy, and arms or related materiel sectors of Russia, as a result of Russia's response to the developments in Ukraine. More specifically:

Treasury imposed sanctions that prohibit U.S. persons from providing new financing to two major Russian financial institutions (Gazprombank OAO and VEB) and two Russian energy firms (OAO Novatek and Rosneft), limiting their access to  U.S. capital markets;

Treasury designated eight Russian arms firms, which are responsible for the production of a range of materiel that includes small arms, mortar shells, and tanks;

Treasury designated the “Luhansk People’s Republic” and the “Donetsk People’s Republic,” which have asserted governmental authority over parts of Ukraine without the authorization of the Government of Ukraine; and Aleksandr Borodai, the self-declared “prime minister” of the Donetsk People’s Republic, for threatening the peace, security, stability, sovereignty, and territorial integrity of Ukraine;

Treasury designated Feodosiya Enterprises, a key shipping facility in the Crimean peninsula, because it is complicit in the misappropriation of state assets of Ukraine; and

Treasury designated four Russian government officials, including Sergey Beseda, a senior Russian Federal Security Service official.

“Russia has continued to destabilize Ukraine and provide support for the separatists, despite its statements to the contrary,” said Under Secretary for Terrorism and Financial Intelligence David S. Cohen.  “Because Russia has failed to meet the basic standards of international conduct, we are acting today to open Russia’s financial services and energy sectors to sanctions and limit the access of two key Russian banks and two key energy firms to U.S. sources of financing, and to impose blocking sanctions against eight arms firms and a set of senior Russian officials.”

Cohen did not address the significant US role in the coup that overthrew the democratically elected government in Ukraine.

During a White House conference call, that I participated in, a senior administration official said that the European Union is meeting and is expected to take actions similar to those instituted by the Treasury Department. Another official said that US spying activity on Germany has not impacted Germany's attitude with regard to working with the US in imposing sanctions. "Angela Merkel has been at the forefront in promoting the sanctions effort in the EU," said the official.

One administration official said that the separatists in Ukraine are trying to set up separate government structures in their regions, which will enable them to raise funds. These sanctions will "strangle those efforts." So much for self determination.



  1. Tragedy becomes farce. Our government rulers are grasping at straws. They honestly believe they can control the world.

    Hubris. Pure hubris, leading to Nemesis. Watch out below. The sudden slowdown in Federal Reserve money inflation will (hopefully) destroy them.

  2. The Obama administration seems intent on accelerating the destruction of the dollar as the reserve currency. If so, it will be one of its only success stories.