The United States on late Feb. 25 imposed sanctions on Russian President Vladimir Putin, Russian Minister of Foreign Affairs Sergei Lavrov, and other members of Russia’s Security Council, marking the latest U.S. actions against Russia following previous rounds of sanctions announced earlier this week since Russia invaded Ukraine.
In addition to designating Putin and Lavrov, the U.S. State Department designated more individuals it deems directly responsible for the further invasion of Ukraine: Minister of Defense of the Russian Federation Sergei Shoigu and Chief of the General Staff of the Russian Armed Forces, First Deputy Minister of Defense, and General of the Army Valery Gerasimov.
The Treasury Department noted that it is “exceedingly rare” for it to designate a head of state, and that Putin now joins “a very small group that includes despots such as Kim Jong Un, Alyaksandr Lukashenka, and Bashar al-Assad.”
Treasury separately designated 11 members of the Russia Security Council in previous actions.
Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen said in a statement the United States seeks “to ensure Russia pays a severe economic and diplomatic price for its further invasion of Ukraine,” and is “prepared to impose further costs on Russia” if necessary.
The sanctions mean that “all property and interests in property of the individuals above that are in the United States or in the possession or control of U.S. persons are blocked and must be reported to [the Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC)].”
“In addition, any entities that are owned, directly or indirectly, 50 percent or more by one or more blocked persons are also blocked,” it announced.
“All transactions by U.S. persons or within (or transiting) the United States that involve any property or interests in property of designated or otherwise blocked persons are prohibited unless authorized by a general or specific license issued by OFAC, or otherwise exempt. These prohibitions include the making of any contribution or provision of funds, goods, or services by, to, or for the benefit of any blocked person and the receipt of any contribution or provision of funds, goods, or services from any such person.”
The White House announced other sanctions on Russia on Feb. 24, which targeted various Russian financial institutions, Russian individuals and their family members, and a number of Russian energy firms. The sanctions don’t directly block Russian oil and gas imports.
President Joe Biden also said on Feb. 24 that the United States and allies decided not to bar Russia from SWIFT international payments system, which banks use to settle cross-border payments. The system is regarded as crucial for financing international trade.