U.S. announces tighter financial sanctions on Russia

United States Treasury announces sanctions on Russian banks and energy firms due to Moscow's continued interference in Ukraine.

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Ben Ariel, Canada,

Flags of U.S. and Russia
Flags of U.S. and Russia
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The United States Treasury on Friday announced tighter financial sanctions on Russian banks and energy firms due to Moscow's continued interference in Ukraine, AFP reports.

In a move aimed at making it harder for Russia's top financial institutions and oil and gas companies to raise long-term funding, the Treasury cut the length of maturity of bonds issued by those companies that U.S. individuals and institutions are allowed to trade.

For Russian banks and other finance houses listed for sanctions, only debt of 14 days or less issued after November 28 can be traded. Previously the allowed maturity was 30 days.

For listed oil and gas firms, the maturity of permitted new debt was cut to 60 days from 90 days.

The move hits major Russian banks such as Sberbank, Vnesheconombank, Eximbank of Russia and VTB Bank, and energy giants including Gazprom, Lukoil, and Transneft.

The new order also reiterated the ban in trading new equity issued by the sanctioned firms.

The sanctions were first announced in 2014 after Russian military forces seized Ukraine's Crimea region and declared it a part of Russia.

More recently, the Senate approved by an overwhelming majority a bill imposing Sanctions on Moscow for interfering in the 2016 U.S. presidential election and for its military aggression in Ukraine and Syria.

President Donald Trump later signed the bill into law, despite saying he believes it is “seriously flawed.”

Russia angrily responded to the sanctions bill with President Vladimir Putin ordering a reduction in the number of U.S. diplomats in Russia.

(Arutz Sheva’s North American desk is keeping you updated until the start of Yom Kippur in New York. The time posted automatically on all Arutz Sheva articles, however, is Israeli time.)