May 26, 2022

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Russia, what sanctions the US and the EU are working on in the event of an invasion of Ukraine

Joe Biden And EU member states have been repeating this for some time: So Russian President Vladimir Putin They will issue the order to invade Ukraine, and they will pour out against Moscow.”I didn’t see the penalties»In the modern history of relations between the West and Russia. What has emerged so far is a package of brutal and comprehensive measures, which will have “deep economic effects” on Moscow. over there European Commission He has been working for weeks to find a delicate balance within calamitywhich must also be sought among the parties involved: not everyone agrees on the seriousness of the sanctions, nor on the so-called red line that must be observed in order to activate them.

When should they explode

Currently, among the hawks there are the Netherlands, the Baltic states and the eastern countries (except Hungary), while others – such as Italy, Germany and France, which have long played the role of mediators – are deployed on a more cautious line. The prevailing assumption at the moment is that of the major European capitals: that is, sanctions are imposed only in the event of a real invasion by Russian forces. Instead, any cyber attacks or disruptions could lead to more “proportional” penalties.

Actions against his entourage

Among the measures under consideration are individual penalties aimed at strikinginner circle Putin. To act on this point is above all the Biden administration: economic sanctions and traffic bans in the European Union and the United States will be so. Alina Kabaeva, the Olympic gold medalist in 2004, could end up on the blacklist, among family members, oligarchs and personalities close to Putin.

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Penalties for banks

The package in this area is still under discussion. It must be ensured that the sanctions will hit individual Russian banks such as Sberbank or the quasi-state Vtb. At the moment, it seems that Russia’s expulsion from Swift, the international payments system, is unlikely. Such a punishment would jeopardize the Russians’ return to the billions of dollars that the Europeans lent. Above all, Germany opposes this solution.

Technologies

As for trade sanctions, work is underway to stop the transfer of technologies to Russian industries. The sectors of artificial intelligence, quantum computing, civil aviation or aerospace are included. However, the export ban may also relate to video games, tablets and smartphones.

hit the power sector

The most difficult point on which to reach agreement is that of energy: one can consider stopping new gas exploration (or financing these activities) by Western companies, but also stopping the transfer of technologies for the Russian energy industry. This is a very slippery land, and it will have a very strong impact on many countries. At stake is not only the continuation of work on the Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline that will unite Russia and Germany, but also the future of other companies. For example, British BP owns 20% of the Russian oil company Rosneft, and Shell has joined the American company Exxon in the exploration of gas and oil off Sakhalin Island.

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