Vladimir Putin stressed last month that financial sanctions imposed on Russia would effectively be an “act of war.”
Footage from Russia shows long lines forming at banks and ATMs amid reports that the U.S. and EU have agreed to impose “restrictive measures” on Russian banks following Vladimir Putin’s invasion of Ukraine.
Several video clips from Moscow and elsewhere in Russia show panicked citizens making a run on banks and ATMs to withdraw their cash ahead of these unprecedented international financial sanctions.
The US and EU issued a joint statement Saturday announcing “restrictive measures that will prevent the Russian Central Bank from deploying its international reserves in ways that undermine the impact of our sanctions.”
EU Commission president Ursula von der Leyen further broke down how the EU would cut off the Central Bank of Russia and other “selected Russian banks” from the SWIFT global payment system to to “strengthen our response to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and cripple Putin’s ability to finance his war machine.”
“This will ensure that these banks are disconnected from the international financial system and harm their ability to operate globally,” she said.
In coordination with 🇺🇸🇫🇷🇩🇪🇮🇹🇨🇦🇬🇧 I will now propose new measures to EU leaders to strengthen our response to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and cripple Putin’s ability to finance his war machine. https://t.co/iU2waDzo9s— Ursula von der Leyen (@vonderleyen) February 26, 2022
A Biden official praised the move as an “unprecedented act of global sanctions coordination.”
“We are collectively planning to impose measures to ensure Russia cannot use its central bank reserves to support its currency, and thereby undermine the impact of our sanctions,” the official said.
“This will show that Russia’s supposed sanctions-proofing of its economy is a myth. The $600 million-plus war chest of Russia’s foreign reserves is only powerful if Putin can use it, and without being able to buy the ruble from Western financial institutions, for example, Putin’s central bank will lose the ability to offset the impact of our sanctions.”
Putin stressed last month that any sanctions imposed on Russia would effectively be an “act of war.”