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U.S. Hits Major Russian Banks with Sanctions Over Invasion of Ukraine

The restrictions aim to hurt the Russian economy by blocking Sberbank from processing and settling payments within the U.S. financial system.
A view shows the logo of Sber (Sberbank) at the St. Petersburg International Economic Forum (SPIEF) in Saint Petersburg, Russia, June 5, 2021. REUTERS/Evgenia Novozhenina/File Photo
A view shows the logo of Sber (Sberbank) at the St. Petersburg International Economic Forum (SPIEF) in Saint Petersburg, Russia, June 5, 2021. REUTERS/Evgenia Novozhenina/File Photo

The United States on Thursday imposed sanctions on Russia in retaliation for its invasion of Ukraine, targeting its two biggest banks and members of the elite in new measures as Washington warned more action could come.

Among the targets were five major Russian banks, including state-backed Sberbank and VTB, the country’s two largest lenders, as well as wealthy individuals and their families. The United States also announced new export control measures.

Washington imposed the new sanctions after Russian forces invaded Ukraine on Thursday, assaulting by land, sea and air in the biggest attack by one state against another in Europe since World War Two.

The U.S. Treasury Department said U.S. banks must sever their correspondent banking ties – which allow banks to make payments between one another and move money around the globe – with Russia’s largest lender, Sberbank (SBER.MM), and 25 of its subsidiaries within 30 days.

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