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US announces additional measures against Russian financial system

Washington [US]: The US in response to Russia's military operations against Ukraine announced additional measures against Moscow's financial system. "The US Department of the Treasury's Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) has prohibited any US person from conducting any transaction involving the Central Bank of the Russian Federation, the National Wealth Fund of the Russian Federation, or the Ministry of Finance of the Russian Federation," read a press statement of US Secretary of State Antony Blinken. The US action will prohibit US dollar transactions with the Russian central bank and fully block the Russian direct investment fund. Instead of using the reserves to buffer a plummeting Ruble, Russia will no longer be able to access the funds it keeps in US dollars. "In addition, OFAC imposed blocking sanctions on the Russian Direct Investment Fund, a known slush fund for President Putin and his inner circle, two of its subsidiaries, and CEO Kirill Dmitriev," added the statement.The steps are meant to prevent Russia from accessing a "rainy day fund" that officials said Moscow had been expecting to rely upon during the invasion of Ukraine. "In coordination with our allies and partners, the United States is taking further measures today against the Russian financial system in response to Russia's continuing premeditated war against Ukraine. Unwavering in our support for Ukraine's sovereignty and territorial integrity, we will continue to act with our allies and partners in imposing costs on Russia if it continues its war of choice," said Blinken. Blinken said that today's actions will impair Russia's ability to use its international reserves. "We took today's actions to impair Russia's ability to use its international reserves in ways that undermine the impact of our sanctions, as well as to prevent Russia from accessing its wealth fund for use in its ongoing war against Ukraine," said the US State Secretary. Meanwhile, he reiterated that US will continue to coordinate closely with partners and allies to impose severe consequences on Russia for its military operation against Ukraine. "We share with our partners and allies unity of purpose, resolve, and determination to hold Russia to account for its aggression, particularly those responsible for this war of choice," said Blinken.

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