In a further bid to isolate Russia economically, the United States, in coordination with the EU and Group of 7 nations, is ready to announce a new set of sanctions on Wednesday. Among the proposed sanctions include an investment freeze — in response to evidence of war crimes in Ukraine.
Further measures against Russia also include a ban on all new investments, greater sanctions on its financial institutions and state-owned enterprises, and sanctions on government officials and their family members. The official insisted on anonymity to discuss the forthcoming announcement.
President Joe Biden and US allies have worked together to levy crippling economic penalties against Russia for invading Ukraine more than a month ago, including the freezing of central bank assets, export controls, and the seizing of property, yachts, that belong to Russia’s wealthy elite.
Calls for increased sanctions intensified this week in response to the attacks, killings, and destruction in the Ukrainian city of Bucha. The official said the sanctions would further Russia’s economic, financial and technological ‘isolation’ from the rest of the world as a penalty for its attacks on civilians in Ukraine. That isolation is a key aspect of the US strategy, which is premised on the idea that Russia will ultimately lack the resources and equipment to keep fighting a prolonged war in Ukraine.
An increasingly desperate Russia has engaged in military tactics that have outraged much of the wider global community, leading to charges that it is committing war crimes and causing other sanctions.
Still, almost all of the EU has refrained from an outright ban on Russian oil and natural gas that would likely crush the Russian economy. The US has banned fossil fuels from Russia, while Lithuania blocked natural gas from that country on Saturday, becoming the first of the 27-member EU to do so. The EU executive branch on Tuesday proposed a ban on Russian coal, while Germany’s government intends to end its use of Russian natural gas over the next two years.
US President Joe Biden has also called for his Russian counterpart, Vladimir Putin, to be tried for war crimes because of the atrocities and abuses seen around Kyiv after Russian forces pulled back from the Ukrainian capital. The corpses of what appeared to be civilians were seen strewn in yards, many of them likely killed at close range.
Biden said Monday that the US and its allies would gather details for a war crimes trial, stressing that Putin has been ‘brutal’ and his actions ‘outrageous’.