US Freezes Assets of Putin Himself

America joins European allies in the move
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Feb 25, 2022 3:15 PM CST
US Freezes Assets of Putin Himself
Russian President Vladimir Putin speaks during a news conference in Moscow, Russia, Feb. 1, 2022.   (Yuri Kochetkov/Pool Photo via AP, File)

The Biden administration said Friday that it will move to freeze the assets of President Vladimir Putin and Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov, following the European Union and Britain in directly sanctioning top Russian leadership. The Treasury Department announced the sanctions shortly after the EU said it had also approved an asset freeze against Putin and Lavrov as part of a broader package of sanctions against Russia for the invasion of Ukraine, per the AP. British Prime Minister Boris Johnson also told NATO leaders during a call Friday that Britain would move to impose sanctions against Putin and Lavrov.

It wasn’t immediately clear how impactful an asset freeze would be on Putin or Lavrov, but the direct action targeting the Russian president was meant to be seen as a warning to Putin that he could emerge as an international pariah if he doesn’t end the invasion of Ukraine. CNN describes it as "the most personal escalation of a sweeping effort" to punish Putin for his decision to send his troops over the border. Prior to Friday, sanctions had reached to Putin's inner circle but not to the leader himself. (Russian troops were closing in on the capital of Kyiv.)

(Read more Russia-Ukraine war stories.)

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