RUSSIAN INVASION: Biden Bans Russia Oil Imports To US, Says Putin Won't Win

Joe Biden Hits Major Russian Banks With Sanctions Over Invasion Of Ukraine.

The United States imposed additional sanctions on Russia on Thursday in punishment for its invasion of Ukraine, targeting the country’s two largest banks and members of the ruling elite, as Washington warned that more action may be taken.

Five major Russian banks, including state-backed Sberbank and VTB, the country’s two largest lenders, as well as affluent people and their families, were among the targets.

In addition, the United States announced new export control measures.

Washington announced the additional measures after Russian military invaded Ukraine on Thursday, attacking by land, sea, and air in Europe’s worst state-on-state attack since World War II.

According to the US Treasury Department, US institutions must cut their correspondent banking relationships with Russia’s largest lender, Sberbank (SBER.MM), and 25 of its subsidiaries within 30 days.

The limitations are intended to harm Russia’s economy by preventing Sberbank from processing and clearing payments within the US financial system.

READ ALSO: EU Set To Hit Russia With ‘Harshest’ Sanctions Over Ukraine Attack

However, Washington refrained from using the US government’s most powerful sanctions mechanism against the bank by not adding it to the Specially Designated Nationals (SDN) list, which would have frozen any of its US assets.

However, a senior US administration official cautioned that if Russia increases its assault against Ukraine, the US may tighten sanctions even more.

“We still have all options on the table. We have room to further escalate as Russia’s aggression escalates,” the official said.

Sberbank said it was operating normally but was studying the implications of sanctions imposed against it.

Daniel Alter, a former general counsel at New York’s Department of Financial Services, said: “The power of the sanction comes from the fact that most of the world trade at some point is conducted in dollars.”

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