The US added key sanctions against Russia’s central bank, as the Dow Jones Industrial average dropped 500 points in morning trading and the ruble lost more than 30% of its value against the dollar.
The sanctions announced by the Biden administration on Monday morning prohibits Americans from doing business with Russia’s central bank and freezes its assets. According to media reports the Treasury Department’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) is making exceptions for certain energy-related transactions.
“The unprecedented action we are taking today will significantly limit Russia’s ability to use assets to finance its destabilizing activities, and target the funds Putin and his inner circle depend on to enable his invasion of Ukraine,” Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen said in a statement. “Today, in coordination with partners and allies, we are following through on key commitments to restrict Russia’s access to these valuable resources.”
The European Union is expected to take decisions cutting Russian banks off from the Belgium-based SWIFT bank transfer system on Monday, complicating international money transfers to and from Russia.
Russian rocket strikes continued to rock major Ukrainian cities on Monday on the fifth day of Ukraine’s invasion.