(FreedomBeacon.com)- As promised, the United States has started to initiate sanctions on Russia that seek to deter Russian President Vladimir Putin from invading Ukraine further, while punishing him and his inner circle for the actions they’ve taken thus far.
The sanctions announced by President Joe Biden recently include not only direct sanctions on Putin and some of his top political officials, but also businesses, private people and their family members in an effort to significantly hurt Russia’s finances.
The Department of Treasury designated both Vladimir Kiriyenko and Denis Bortnikov — sons of two powerful people who are close to Putin — for sanctions. Both of these people hold prominent positions in successful Russian businesses.
As a result of the sanctions, any assets they have that are held in the United States are now frozen. They’re also barred from dealing with any person in the U.S., solely on the basis that their fathers serve in roles that are close to Putin. Bortnikov’s father is Russia’s domestic intelligence chief, while Kiriyenko’s father is one of the Russian president’s closest advisers.
As Biden said when he announced these sanctions:
“They share in the corrupt gains of the Kremlin policies and should share in the pain as well.”
These sanctions aren’t the most serious ones that were announced this week by the Biden administration. Those have come on two of the most prominent banks in Russia, which significantly reduces the ability of Russia to access finance provided by Western countries.
At the same time, the sanctions that have been placed on the family members of prominent and connected Russian individuals are meant to make them feel unsettled. This comes at a time when Putin has worked real hard to consolidate wealth and power of public and private people within Russia.
A senior official within the Biden administration recently said to CNN:
“This is unprecedented because we are extending the reach of U.S. sanctions to prevent the elites close to Putin from using their kids to hide assets, evade costs and squander the resources of the Russian people. This is a new approach.”
The Biden administration has also signaled that this is just the opening round of sanctions that the U.S. will put on Russia if Putin continues to escalate the situation with Ukraine.
The person who’s leading the White House’s sanctions effort, Deputy National Security Adviser Daleep Singh, recently told reporters:
“Other Russian elites and their family members are now on notice that additional sanctions could be taken on them as well.”
The strategy here, apparently, is to hurt many of the elite families in Russia by stunting their ability to make and move money throughout the world. The hope is that by doing so, they’ll put pressure on Putin to stand down and not pursue an all-out war in Ukraine.
In addition, countries around the world are putting various sanctions on Russia, including Germany halting the Nord 2 gas pipeline, which is a major source of income for Russia.