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The financial sector is at the heart of the West’s strategy to punish Russia

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Western countries, in their strategy to punish Russia for its invasion of Ukrainian territory, focus on the financial sector, imposing direct sanctions on it, as well as freezing the assets of President Vladimir Putin and Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov.

The White House confirmed Friday that the United States will follow the lead of its allies and impose sanctions on the president and his secretary of state, including preventing them from entering its territory.

The European Union has included members of the Russian House of Representatives (Doma) and 26 Russian businessmen on its blacklist.

The sanctions also oblige European banks to refuse any financial deposits from Russian citizens worth more than € 100,000 and many Russian state-linked companies will not be able to obtain European funding.

For its part, Canada has announced that it will impose sanctions on “58 Russian individuals and entities”, including “people of the Russian elite”, “large Russian banks” and “members of the Russian National Security Council”, provided that such sanctions include Putin and Lavrov.

Japan also announced the “freezing of assets and the suspension of the granting of entry visas to Russian individuals and organizations”, as well as the freezing of the assets of Russian financial institutions.

Australia specifically targets Russian financiers and all Duma members and is preparing to impose sanctions on Putin and Lavrov.

The Western allies maintained the possibility of excluding Russia from the “SWIFT” system for interbank transactions, one of the most important tools of the global financial system.

Excluding Moscow from this system will be one of the toughest sanctions Western countries can impose, but the move has not yet achieved unanimity, especially in light of the fear of several European countries that it could affect their energy supplies from Russia.

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