New sanctions were imposed on Germany, France, Britain, Italy, Canada, the European Union and other countries – the Russian economy has already collapsed.
“No country has evidence of a permit,” a White House official said. “Putin’s reserves are $630 billion, and that only matters if he uses them to protect his currency, especially by selling those reserves in exchange for a ruble.”
In a telephone call to reporters Monday morning, a senior executive said: “The proposal is the culmination of several months of planning and production, including high levels in technical, diplomatic and political channels.”
“We were prepared and that enabled us to act in a few days, not weeks or months after Putin’s escalation,” the official said.
“Our strategy is simply to ensure that the Russian economy bounces back until President Putin decides to go ahead with his invasion of Ukraine,” another senior executive said.
The official described the current sanctions as “a vicious cycle of reactions initiated by Putin’s own interests and accelerated by his aggression.”
The sanctions also completely ban the Russian Direct Investment Fund and its CEO, Grill Dmitriev. Officials said they were “symbols of Russia’s deep-rooted corruption and global influence”.
Another official said, “Today’s actions reflect the major steps the US Treasury Secretary has taken toward this size of the economy and this level of assets.” “What makes this characteristic important is not just the size of the assets or the size of the country we are targeting, but the speed with which our partners and employees have worked with us to implement this response.”
Asked about further sanctions against Belarus, which appears ready to intensify its role in the Russian invasion of Ukraine, an official said the United States is “watching” the situation “closely” and that sanctions against Belarus will continue.
Fighting continued on Monday near several major Ukrainian cities while Russia continued its incursion into the country. Russian forces face “strong resistance” to the retreat in northern Ukraine, while invading forces have had “little success” in the south.
Russian forces “slowed down their offensive”, but, according to the Ukrainian army, they are still “trying” to seize Ukrainian territory throughout the country.
Talks between the Russian and Ukrainian delegations began in Belarus on Monday. Before the meeting, Ukraine called for an “immediate ceasefire and the withdrawal of Russian forces.”
The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees said on Monday that more than 500,000 refugees have fled Ukraine to neighboring countries since the invasion began.
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Jelensky called on European countries to do more to support his country and on Monday called on the European Union to “urgently allow Ukraine”.
This story has been updated with additional information.