Western sanctions reaching a new phase, ‘decreasing the resources for Russia to finance the war’
Western sanctions against Russia, imposed by the United States, European Union and other western countries, have entered a new phase, with the aim of decreasing the resources Moscow has to finance its war in Ukraine.
The latest round of sanctions imposed by the United States and the European Union in late July and early August includes a ban on financing for five leading Russian banks, as well as restrictions on access to the international capital markets for some of the country's biggest energy companies.
These sanctions are part of a wider effort by western governments to punish Russia for its role in the Ukraine conflict, and to limit its ability to finance the war.
The sanctions have already had a significant impact on the Russian economy, with the ruble losing more than half of its value against the US dollar since the start of the year.
Meanwhile, the Russian government has been forced to dip into its reserves to finance its military operations in Ukraine. According to the US government, Russia has already spent more than $20 billion on the war.
The sanctions have also made it more difficult for Russia to access foreign capital, with the International Monetary Fund estimating that the country needs some $150 billion in financing over the next two years.
The latest round of sanctions is likely to further restrict Russia's access to foreign capital, and could force the country to dip even deeper into its reserves.
The sanctions are also likely to have a long-term impact on the Russian economy, as companies struggle to access capital from abroad and the cost of financing rises.
The latest round of sanctions is just the latest in a long line of measures imposed by the US and EU in response to the conflict in Ukraine.
It remains to be seen whether these sanctions will be enough to bring about a resolution to the conflict, or if more will be needed. But one thing is certain: the sanctions are having an impact on Russia's ability to finance its war in Ukraine, and on its economy more generally.