On 26 February, the leaders of the European Commission, France, Germany, Italy, the United Kingdom, Canada, and the United States committed to undertake new strong measures against Russia, according to a joint statement.
First, they committed to ensure that selected Russian banks are removed from the SWIFT messaging system. This will ensure that these banks are disconnected from the international financial system and will harm their ability to operate globally.
The second commitment is to impose restrictive measures that will prevent the Russian Central Bank from deploying its international reserves in ways that undermine the impact of sanctions.
The third commitment is to act against the people and entities who facilitate the war in Ukraine and the harmful activities of the Russian government. “Specifically, we commit to taking measures to limit the sale of citizenship – so-called golden passports – that let wealthy Russians connected to the Russian government become citizens of our countries and gain access to our financial systems,” says the statement.
All sides also committed to launch in the coming week a transatlantic task force that will ensure the effective implementation of financial sanctions. This task force will identify and freeze the assets of sanctioned individuals and companies that exist within concerning jurisdictions. As a result, new sanctions may target additional Russian officials and elites close to the Russian government, as well as their families, and their enablers. The sides also committed to engage other governments and work to detect and disrupt the movement of ill-gotten gains, and to deny these individuals the ability to hide their assets in jurisdictions across the world.
Finally, the sides will step up coordination against disinformation and other forms of hybrid warfare.
“We stand with the Ukrainian people in this dark hour. Even beyond the measures we are announcing today, we are prepared to take further measures to hold Russia to account for its attack on Ukraine,” says the statement.
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