The US and UK governments followed in the footsteps of the European Union, which announced direct sanctions against Russia’s President, Vladimir Putin, and its Foreign Minister, Sergey Lavrov, as part of international pressure for Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. In Canada, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau supported Russia’s exit from the SWIFT international payment system.
The action taken by a part of Western countries is aimed at freezing the assets of both people in those countries.
Meanwhile, in the case of the United States, the punishment extends to a ban on entering the country, although the Russian president will be able to attend the United Nations headquarters in New York.
“The step we are taking, in coordination and coordination with the Europeans, sends a clear message about the strength of opposition to President Putin’s actions and direction in his leadership of the Russian military,” said Jen Psaki, a spokeswoman for the House of Representatives. White.
The European Union has not banned the entry of the Russian leader or his foreign minister, so that the punishment does not conflict with a possible dialogue.
“President Putin and his Foreign Minister Lavrov are on the list of sanctioned persons along with the remaining members of the State Duma who support this aggression,” said Josep Borrell, EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs.
Canada supports Russia’s exit from SWIFT payment system
Contrary to what the White House expressed a few days ago, regarding the difficulties in excluding Russia from the Association for the Communication of International Banks and Finance (SWIFT), Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau indicated that he supports an exit. The Russian regime in order to obstruct the financing of the invasion of Ukraine.
“Canada, the United Kingdom and other countries believe that Russia should be excluded from the Swift system and those discussions are continuing with European allies,” Trudeau said.
Boris Johnson, Prime Minister of the United Kingdom, supported the decision to exclude Russia from the payment system “to inflict maximum pain on President Putin and his regime”.
Will Russia be able to withstand the new round of sanctions?
According to some Western leaders, the sanctions against Russian financial institutions, figures close to the Kremlin and members of the government are aimed at “stifling the Russian financial system.”
Since 2014, when Russia annexed Crimea and the first Western sanctions against it became known, which limited Russian exports, among other things, the government has drawn up a plan to prevent such measures from having a profound impact on the economy.
In this sense, Russia has created less dependence on the dollar, to the point that it currently has 16% of foreign exchange in that currency compared to 40% five years ago, as well as searching for new trading fronts, many of which are far from the West. And a new payment system.
In November 2014, the Russian Ministry of Finance admitted that the sanctions caused losses of up to 40 thousand million dollars annually to the country. Today, the country has international reserves of 630 thousand million dollars.
Europe and the need for Russian gas
The conflict has alarmed analysts because part of Europe needs to import Russian natural gas for energy production.
According to Eurostat, in 2020 Russia sent 153 billion cubic meters of gas to the European Union, which represents 38% of the bloc’s imports.
Similarly, specialists are carefully watching that cutting off the supply of Russian gas could affect production and the economic recovery process in the region.
This situation, in addition, occurs at a time when some European countries are migrating for greater use of gas to replace coal for energy production.
With EFE and Reuters
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