Political Sanctions Against Russia and the Crypto Market’s Reaction

Western and Asian leaders have revealed more sanctions on Russia after its forces invaded Ukraine. Australia, New Zealand, Taiwan, the European Union, and Japan have all slapped Moscow with fresh embargoes on Friday, fiercely condemning the military aggression that’s unfolding in Ukraine.

Amidst the crisis, Ukraine urged the West to ban Russia from SWIFT, the high-security network that expedites payments among some 11,000 financial institutions in over 200 countries.

Earlier this week, Germany froze the certification of the Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline following Moscow’s actions on Ukraine.

However, it remains to be seen whether these measures will indeed hurt Russia as much as the rest of the sanctions announced by world leaders.

The List of Global Sanctions on Russia

Australia

Australia’s leaders announced on Friday that they would “begin imposing further sanctions on oligarchs, whose economic weight is of strategic significance to Moscow and over 300 members of the Russian Duma, their parliament.”

Speaking at a press conference on Friday, Prime Minister Scott Morrison added that Canberra was “also working with the United States to align with their further sanctions overnight on key Belarusian individuals and entities complicit in the aggression, so we are extending those sanctions to Belarus.”

New Zealand

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said on Friday that they would cut trade with Russia and impose travel bans against Russian officials. She continued to call for a return to diplomatic dialogue to resolve the deadlock.

“Right here and now, we need to take immediate action,” Ardern said in a press conference in Wellington.

Additionally, New Zealand is forbidding the export of goods to the Russian military and security forces in response to the invasion of Ukraine.

Taiwan

Taiwan announced that it would join the party of economic sanctions against Russia without revealing which measures were being weighed out.

In a statement, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs said on Friday that it “strongly condemns” Russia’s actions.
It’s important to note that Taiwan is a global leader in the production of semiconductors.

The European Union

European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen and French president Emmanuel Macron issued new sanctions early on Friday, pledging to inflict “maximum impact on the Russian economy and political elite.”

“We will hold the Kremlin accountable,” said von der Leyen. She added that these measures will target 70% of the Russian banking sector and key state-owned companies and sought to make “it impossible for Russia to upgrade its oil refineries.”

Japan

“Japan will impose a set of sanctions targeting Russian financial institutions, military organizations, and individuals in response to the invasion of Ukraine,” Prime Minister Fumio Kishida announced on Friday.

These measures include “freezing the assets of certain Russian individuals and financial institutions while also banning exports to Russian military organizations.”

Kishida added, “In response to this situation, we will strengthen our sanction measures in close cooperation with the G7 and the rest of the international community.”

The United Kingdom

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson asserted on Thursday afternoon that “The United Kingdom is set to sanction 100 individuals and entities as part of further sanctions against Russia.”

In his speech to parliament, Johnson reiterated that the goal was “to exclude Russian banks from the UK financial system.”

These include asset freezes on Russian state bank VTB, following the sanctioning of five Russian banking organizations on Tuesday.

Additionally, Johnson said, “nothing is off the table” when it comes to shutting off Russia’s access to SWIFT.

The United States

On Thursday, US President Joe Biden presented a range of severe sanctions against Russia, stating that: “Putin chose this war.”

These new measures will include “export blocks on technology,” a critical angle of Biden’s approach that he said, “would severely limit Russia’s ability to advance its military and aerospace sector.”

The White House added in a statement, “these include Russia-wide restrictions on semiconductors, telecommunication, encryption security, lasers, sensors, navigation, avionics, and maritime technologies.”

To add to these sanctions, US authorities also said they would cut off 13 major state-owned companies from raising money in the United States; these include energy giant Gazprom and Sberbank, Russia’s largest financial institution.

Regardless of what unfolds in the next few days, more sanctions are expected from world leaders.

The Effects on the Crypto Market

In the hours after Russia proceeded with its “special military operation,” the entire cryptocurrency market turned red. Bitcoin, for example, dropped by about $5,000 to a monthly low of just over $34,000.

The altcoins suffered even more with double-digit price losses. However, once US President Joe Biden said the country has no intentions to get involved directly in the war, the tides turned.

Bitcoin recovered all losses almost immediately and currently sits close to $40,000. The entire market cap added over $150 billion and stands above $1.7 trillion as most altcoins went on the offensive as well.

BTCUSD. Source: TradingView
BTCUSD. Source: TradingView

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