Bloomberg: New US and EU Sanctions May Affect the Ruble Exchange Rate

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The United States and the European Union are considering imposing sanctions on major Russian banks and the Russian Direct Investment Fund (RDIF), in the event of a possible Russian invasion of Ukraine. It was reported by Bloomberg with reference to sources. In addition, sanctions may affect converting rubles into dollars, euros and pounds sterling. The option to introduce restrictions for investors to buy Russian debt obligations on the secondary market is also being considered. The most radical option would be to disconnect Russia from the SWIFT financial payment system, but this, according to the agency’s interlocutors, “would cause damage to ordinary citizens”. Before, CNN reported of the possibility of disconnecting Russian banks from the SWIFT system. However, this “shock measure”, as journalists note, has been repeatedly mentioned – since the spring of 2014, when Russia annexed Crimea. Earlier, sources close to the US administration reported that President Joe Biden’s entourage continues to consider all possible sanctions against Russia that could deter the Russian leadership from invading the territory of Ukraine. Among the sanctions under consideration are restrictive measures against people from President Vladimir Putin’s inner circle, heads of major Russian energy companies and banks. A final decision on sanctions has not yet been made, CNN reports. US President Joe Biden may outline options for possible sanctions to Russian Leader Vladimir Putin during telephone talks on the evening of December 7, Bloomberg writes. Earlier, a number of American and European media, citing intelligence sources, wrote that at the beginning of the year Russia could launch a large-scale invasion of the territory of Ukraine, possibly aiming to dismiss the current authorities in Kiev or to seize territory. Similar intelligence data was reported by the Ministry of Defense of Ukraine. On the day before the CIA Director William Burns said that the US intelligence services are not yet sure that Russia intends to carry out an “invasion” of Ukraine. However, it should be taken into account that the Russian armed forces “are capable of acting very radically”, he said. According to Burns, it is important to combine deterrence and diplomacy in response to Moscow’s policy. Moscow denies such plans and claims that Russia has the right to deploy troops on its own territory at its option. Moscow called the publications in the Western media “a special operation to escalate the situation around Ukraine with shifting responsibility to Russia”.