U.S. adds Russian banks to sanctions list in move with EU

On Tuesday the U.S. sanctioned three Russian banks and a state-owned shipbuilder that serves Russia’s navy and oil and gas industry, joining with the European Union in escalating the penalties for Russia over its actions in Ukraine, bloomberg.com reports.

Russia is once again isolating itself from the international community, setting back decades of progress,’ President Barack Obama said at the White House. ‘We can’t, in the end, make President Putin see more clearly; ultimately that’s something President Putin has to do on his own.’

{movie}Obama: Russia is isolating itself from the world, video by Bloomberg News.|right|17709{/movie}

The new U.S. sanctions target VTB Bank, Bank of Moscow and the Russian Agricultural Bank. United Shipbuilding Corp., which has contracts with the Russian military, also was sanctioned. The U.S. also is suspending credits that encourage exports to Russia and prohibiting export of certain goods to the energy sector.

The European Union earlier agreed to bar Russia’s state-owned banks from selling shares or bonds in Europe and restricted the export of equipment to modernise the oil industry, a key prop for Russia’s economy. New contracts to sell arms and machinery, electronics and other civilian products with military uses also will be banned.

The moves by the U.S. and EU were the latest attempt to squeeze Russia’s $2 trillion economy in response to President Putin’s refusal to end support for Ukrainian rebels.


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