The U.S. Treasury has prohibited transactions with the Central Bank of Russia and imposed sanctions on a key Russian sovereign wealth fund.
- American entities and citizens are prohibited from engaging in transactions with the Central Bank of Russia, the National Wealth Fund of the Russian Federation and the Ministry of Finance of the Russian Federation, the Treasury's OFAC announced Monday.
- Furthermore, the OFAC has sanctioned the Russian Direct Investment Fund (RDIF), which has exposure to the U.S. financial system, and its CEO Kirill Dmitriev, "a known Putin ally."
- "Russian President Vladimir Putin and his inner circle of cronies have long relied on RDIF and Dmitriev to raise funds abroad, including in the United States," according to the statement.
- The announcement is the latest of a wave of economic sanctions imposed on Russia following its invasion of Ukraine last week. The moves helped send the ruble tumbling 40% earlier today, forcing the Russian central bank to try and defend the currency by hiking its benchmark interest rate to 20% from 9.5%.
- There have also been calls for crypto exchanges to block addresses of Russian users, but the exchanges – notably Binance and Kraken – have pointedly declined to do so.
- Talks are underway between Russia and Ukraine in Belarus with the aim of bringing an end to the hostilities.
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