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Biden to block new investments in Russia by Americans

New blocking sanctions include Sberbank, children of Putin

White House National Economic Council Director Brian Deese said new sanctions bar investment by U.S. companies in their facilities in Russia.
White House National Economic Council Director Brian Deese said new sanctions bar investment by U.S. companies in their facilities in Russia. (Anna Moneymaker/Getty Images file photo)

President Joe Biden will be signing an executive order blocking any new investments in Russia by Americans, White House economics adviser Brian Deese told reporters Wednesday.

“We will prohibit all inbound investment in the Russian Federation by any U.S. person. So, we have seen an overwhelming move by companies to take actions on their own to pull out of Russia and end investment in Russia,” Deese, director of the National Economic Council, said.

He said the new order would bar investment by domestic companies in their own facilities in Russia or in new companies through mergers or venture capital.

A fact sheet provided by the White House about the newest executive order said, “This action builds on the decision made by more than 600 multinational businesses to exit from Russia. The exodus of the private sector includes manufacturers, energy companies, large retailers, financial institutions, as well as other service providers such as law and consulting firms.”

Deese, who was speaking at a breakfast hosted by the Christian Science Monitor, said inflation in Russia was increasing at approximately 2 percent per week, which is effectively a 200 percent annualized rate.

On the sanctions front, this round will include blocking sanctions on Sberbank and Alfa-Bank, as well as family members of Russian President Vladimir Putin, Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov and other Russian elites, according to the White House. That list includes Putin’s children.

“Most of these large state-owned enterprises are operated very — in very close connection to the Russian government,” Deese said, citing a Russian aircraft company and a shipbuilding company.

Wednesday’s announcements from the U.S. side were coordinated with international partners, including fellow members of the G7 and the European Union.

“The United States and more than 30 allies and partners across the world have levied the most impactful, coordinated, and wide-ranging economic restrictions in history. Experts predict Russia’s GDP will contract up to 15 percent this year, wiping out the last fifteen years of economic gains,” a White House fact sheet said.

Deese said it is important for the international community to maintain unity in implementing sanctions to have maximum effectiveness.

“I think that we all we need to have patience and perspective when it comes to the impacts on Russia, of this unprecedented and crippling sanctions regime that we have now put in place,” Deese said. “Being able to do full blocking against Sberbank in a way where we’re doing that in a unified way is that the impact of sanctions operate across time, and you have to have the conviction.”

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