US announces ‘unprecedented action’ with devastating new sanctions on Russia: report
Official White House photo by Adam Schultz

The United States government on Monday announced a major escalation of sanctions against Russia after Vladimir Putin invaded Ukraine.

"The Treasury Department on Monday moved to further cut off Russia from the global economy, announcing that it would immobilize Russian Central Bank assets that are held in the United States and impose sanctions on the Russian Direct Investment Fund, a sovereign wealth fund that is run by a close ally of President Vladimir V. Putin," The New York Times reported. "The moves are meant to curb Russia’s ability to use its war chest of international reserves to blunt the impact of sanctions that the United States and European allies have enacted in response to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine."

The move comes as sanctions are already devastating Russia's economy.

"The ruble cratered, the stock market froze and the public rushed to withdraw cash on Monday as Western sanctions kicked in and Russia awoke to uncertainty and fear over the rapidly spreading repercussions of President Vladimir V. Putin’s invasion of Ukraine," The Times also reported Monday. "As the day began, Russia’s currency lost as much as a quarter of its value within hours. Scrambling to stem the decline, the Russian Central Bank more than doubled its key interest rate, banned foreigners from selling Russian securities and ordered exporters to convert into rubles most of their foreign-currency revenues."

Treasury Secretary Janet L. Yellen explained the purpose of the new sanctions.

“The unprecedented action we are taking today will significantly limit Russia’s ability to use assets to finance its destabilizing activities, and target the funds Putin and his inner circle depend on to enable his invasion of Ukraine," Yellin said in a statement.

Read the full report.