U.S. Considers Freezing Billions Reserve Of Russian Central Bank
Information reaching Naija News House says that U.S. Considers Freezing Billions Reserve Of Russian Central Bank
The United States government is considering freezing the $643 billion in reserves of the Russian central bank amassed by President Vladimir Putin following his invasion of Ukraine.
Bloomberg reports that while decisions on the fresh sanction were yet to be finalised, the President Joe Biden administration was urgently exploring options to severely limit Russia’s ability to advance its military operations in Ukraine.
Sources familiar with the matter told the New York-based media outlet that U.S. was aiming to impose the fresh sanctions in conjunction with allies across Europe to maximally incapacitate Moscow.
Despite steadily reducing its foreign currency dependency, Russia’s central bank at the end of June 2021 was reported to still have 16.4 per cent of its holdings in dollars.
The consideration for stiffer sanctions come days after Mr Biden announced sanctions targeting Russian assets in response to the expanded invasion of Ukraine on Thursday.
The earlier announced sanctions include export blocks on technology, which the Biden administration said would severely limit Russia’s ability to advance its military and aerospace sector.
Mr Biden also applied sanctions on four Russian banks and “corrupt billionaires” and their families who are close to the Kremlin. These banks hold over $1 trillion in assets, including the country’s largest bank.
Also, European leaders on Friday decided to impose a second batch of sanctions to incapacitate the Russian economy, setting its target on banks, state-owned companies and individuals. However, at first they had been undecided about blocking Russia from SWIFT.
France had supported cutting off Russia from the global SWIFT payment system and was also ready to supply weapons and military equipment to Ukraine.
However, Germany’s finance minister, Christian Lindner, said on Friday that his government was “open” to cutting Russia from Swift.
On Saturday, the EU began the process to cut off Russia from the Swift banking system according to reports from European media.
Russian Central Bank