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Sergey Fursa: These sanctions need to be imposed against Russia immediately

March 4, 2022 9:16 amby Sergey Fursa
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A sign displays foreign currency exchange rates to the Russian ruble at an exchange bureau in Moscow, Russia, on Monday, Feb. 28, 2022. The Bank of Russia acted quickly to shield the nations $1.5 trillion economy from sweeping sanctions that hit key banks, pushed the ruble to a record low and left President Vladimir Putin unable to access much of his war chest of more than $640 billion. Photographer: Andrey Rudakov/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Ukrainian bankers, analysts and economists have joined forces to develop a list of sanctions that have not yet been introduced, but could substantially hit Russia and force Russian dictator Vladimir Putin to retreat.

Of course, these measures could hurt not only Russians, but also the economies of the collective West. But at the end of the day, money is just money. Now people's lives are at stake. We finally need to decide what the word "sanctions" will mean in our civilization. It's time to make a choice. Or rather, Putin left us no choice. If we don't do what we have to do today, tomorrow we'll have to pay an even greater price.

Here's what we think needs to be done:

Maximize pressure via financial sanctions:

  1. Expand SWIFT blocking and SDN designation to all banking system.
  2. Full ban by Visa and MasterCard.
  3. FATF should blacklist both Russia and Belarus.
  4. De-listing of all Russian securities from global stock exchanges, removal from all investor indices, disconnecting Russia from global securities and FX clearing and depositories.
  5. Blanket ban for US and EU pension systems to hold Russian assets.
  6. Blanket ban for any Russian entity to raise funds abroad.

Expand all existing sanctions on Russian officials and oligarchs to their families. Send children and wives of sanctioned Russians from EU and US back home. All existing assets should be confiscated.

Property confiscation for all sanctioned Russians in EU and US. This should extend to cryptocurrency wallets, including ‘crypto vaults’ in Switzerland.

Current sanctions list to be expanded to all Duma members (including future elected members), senior government officials and top-100 oligarchs.

G7 should put pressure on UAE and other global financial hubs to ensure worldwide compliance with sanctions regime.

No global financial services for Russian and Belarus citizens: existing accounts to be closed and no new accounts opened in banks, brokerages, electronic money institutions. Ban on acquisition of assets including real estate. All existing assets should be frozen.

No travel and education for Russian and Belarus citizens: travel and visa ban for all passport holders, cancel all student visas and request to leave. Cash limits for Russians returning to Russia to 2000 USD.

No loopholes via ‘golden passports’: ban future golden passports, withdraw existing ones for sanctioned people and their families.

No international trade for Russia and Belarus: embargo on oil and gas, military exports, general ban on exports from the West to Russia (chemical products, agriculture seed stock, food and beverages, pharma, apparel, electronics, spare parts, machine-building, cars and cosmetics).

Block all technology transfers to Russia: stop Western exports of technological equipment (computers, servers, semiconductors, consumer devices), expand this to Western software (no new installations and updates, existing licenses to be pulled) and cloud services (to be ceased immediately). All services such as Google Playmarket, Apple Store, Google Maps, Amazon Web Services should be subject to this rule and no longer available in Russia.

Block Russian and Belarus media channels and propaganda-oriented bloggers from access to Youtube and other streaming platforms. Global satellites should be banned from airing RT.

Block maritime, railway and airport logistics for Russian owned vessels: no entry, no port service, no refuelling.

Sanctions should be expanded to all state owned enterprises in Russia aiding their military effort: Gazprom, Rosneft, Roscosmos, RZhD, Rosatom. All joint projects with EU/US should be frozen. All assets in the West should be frozen.

Limit provision of auxiliary services which enable large Russian industries:

  1. Provision of insurance and reinsurance for risks, freights and vessels.
  2. Auditing by ‘Big Four’ companies.
  3. G7 should put pressure on ‘tax haven’ countries from opening accounts and registering new companies for Russian beneficiaries.
  4. Use of bearer shares by Russians should be blocked in EU and Switzerland.

Freeze Russia and Belarus SDRs at IMF and use those for a new program for Ukraine.

Focus on very widespread freeze of assets of Russia sovereign as well as state owned companies to help Ukraine get reparations from Russia in the future.

Author:  Sergey Fursa

Sergey Fursa is an expert with Dragon Capital, a leading Ukrainian investment bank.

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