New anti-Russian sanctions may hit Kazakhstan

The White House is weighing a new tranche of sanctions against Russia

President’s Biden administration is trying to find out what the U.S. can do to make sanctions more painful for Russia. According to the Washington Post, a new tranche of sanctions may be targeted at third countries, which still support close economic ties with Russia. The final decision hasn’t been made though, the newspaper reported.

This strategy which is also known as “secondary sanctions” is usually aimed at increasing pain from economic sanctions. The United States has applied them in only a few cases. If these secondary sanctions are adopted, several countries in Asia, including Kazakhstan, which have abstained from cutting ties with Russia after its invasion of Ukraine, will be forced to choose between their Western partners and Russia.

However, the White House National Security Council and the U.S. Department of the Treasury refused to comment on this, according to the outlet.

As the newspaper noted, so far Russia is doing quite well under the new sanctions and even wants to keep exporting oil and gas.

“Despite all financial sanctions, export of oil and gas is a huge loophole that allows Russia to get millions of dollars every week. Russia uses these resources to financially support its government and military,” said Jeff Schott, senior fellow in the Peterson Institute for International Economy.

The U.S. and its allies have already taken unprecedented measures to hit the Russian economy. They have frozen a significant part of the foreign currency reserves of the Bank of Russia, banned the supply of semiconductors and other sensitive components into Russia and cut many Russian banks from the international financial system.

On Thursday, President Biden announced additional sanctions against members of the Russian parliament and more than 400 individuals and companies in Russia.

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