US, Europe Target Russian Oligarchs’ Yachts and Luxury Apartments

The Biden administration and Europe on Saturday announced new sanctions targeting Russia oligarchs in response to the invasion of Ukraine, Fox Business reports.

Along with massive sanctions against Russian officials and banks, the US and Europe announced they will form a task force to track down assets held by Russian oligarchs hit with sanctions.

"We’ll go after their yachts, their luxury apartments, their money and their ability to send their kids to fancy colleges in the West," a senior Biden administration official said.

The task force will also target the sale of “golden passports” that allow wealthy Russians to gain European citizenship.

The European Commission said in a statement that the task force “will ensure the effective implementation of our financial sanctions by identifying and freezing the assets of sanctioned individuals and companies that exist within our jurisdictions. As a part of this effort we are committed to employing sanctions and other financial and enforcement measures on additional Russian officials and elites close to the Russian government, as well as their families, and their enablers to identify and freeze the assets they hold in our jurisdictions. We will also 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.”

Big sanctions:

The move was part of a larger announcement of sanctions aimed at punishing Russia over its invasion.

European countries have moved to kick Russia out of the SWIFT messaging system, cutting Russian banks’ ability to transfer payments or operate globally.

The EU and US also imposed restrictions on the Russian Central Bank, blocking Putin from accessing hundreds of billions of dollars.

The EU also announced a crackdown on misinformation, banning state TV outlets RT and Sputnik.

The EU said the sanctions would also apply to Belarus, which has aided Russia’s invasion.

Russian economy melts down:

The Russian ruble fell to a record low on Monday after the sanctions.

After a collapse that saw the ruble’s value plummet last week, dropping to 83 rubles per dollar, the ruble fell as low as 111 to the dollar before Russia shut down its markets and imposed new restrictions.

The Kremlin effectively banned the ruble from being valued at lower than 100 rubles to the dollar and increased benchmark interest rates from 9.5% to 20%.

“The economic reality has changed significantly,” Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov told reporters. “Now it’s important to take actions that minimize the consequences. We will do what is in our interests.”

The Kremlin also required Russian companies to sell 80% of their foreign currency revenue, requiring them to buy up rubles instead.

 

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