Breaking: Economic sanctions against Russia now include seafood, diamonds, vodka

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President Joe Biden issued an executive order on Friday that halts imports of Russian seafood, vodka, and non-industrial-use diamonds. The White House statement says this will include more than $1 billion in revenues to Russian entities.

Biden’s order also stops U.S. exports of luxury items to anyone in Russia. Other leaders from G7 nations of Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, the United Kingdom, and the European Union will also announce similar actions, the White House said.

“These actions will collectively ramp up pressure on [Russian President Vladimir] Putin and build on the unprecedented package of economic sanctions and export controls the United States and over 30 countries have already imposed on Russia. Today, the ruble is trading at its weakest level ever and is worth less than a penny; the Russian stock market is closed for the longest time in history; the Russian government’s credit rating has been downgraded to ‘junk’ status, and we’re seeing a mass exodus from Russia by the private sector – the result of our historic, multilateral coordination and commitment to ensure that Putin’s war of choice is a strategic failure. Russia has now become a global economic and financial pariah,” Biden’s statement said.  

Alaska U.S. Sen. Dan Sullivan has been pressuring the White House over the course of three administrations — Obama, Trump, and Biden — to enact such a ban on Russian seafood imports.

“Although this unfair and non-reciprocal seafood trade relationship between the United States and the Russian Federation has been harming our fishermen for far too long, I appreciate that the Biden administration has recognized the need to rectify it, and support the thousands of hard-working fishermen across the country and in Alaska,” Sullivan said. “Just in the past few weeks, I’ve had detailed discussions with President Biden’s National Security Advisor and U.S. Trade Representative on this important topic—including just yesterday.”

According to the White House, the sanctions include:

Revoking Russia’s Most-Favored Nation Status. President Biden will work closely with Congress to deny Russia the benefits of its WTO membership and ensure that Russian imports do not receive most favored nation treatment in our economy. The United States Congress has demonstrated bipartisan leadership to revoke Permanent Normal Trade Relations for Russia, and President Biden looks forward to signing a bill into law. Together with similar actions by the G7, following our respective national processes, this collective action by more than half of the global economy will deliver another serious economic blow to Russia.

Denying Borrowing Privileges at Multilateral Financial Institutions. The G7 Leaders will agree to ensure Russia cannot obtain financing from the leading multilateral financial institutions, such as the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank. Russia cannot grossly violate international law and expect to benefit from being part of the international economic order.

Full blocking Sanctions on Additional Russian Elites and their Family Members. This includes Yuri Kovalchuk, executives of banks we have sanctioned, and Duma members who sponsored legislation to recognize the so-called “Donetsk People’s Republic” and “Luhansk People’s Republic.” This action will follow up on multiple efforts, along with those of our allies and partners, to target Russian elites and their family members who are profiting from this war of choice, and cuts them off from the U.S. financial system, freezes any assets they hold in the United States and blocks their travel to the United States. We will work through the international task force announced on February 26 to pursue the ill-gotten gains of these elites.

Banning Export of Luxury Goods to Russia. President Biden will sign an Executive Order (E.O) that will end the exportation of luxury items to any person located in the Russian Federation. This will ensure that U.S. persons are not providing luxury items, such as high end-watches, luxury vehicles, high-end apparel, high-end alcohol, jewelry, and other goods frequently purchased by Russian elites. The U.S. export value of the products covered by today’s luxury goods restrictions is nearly $550 million per year. The elites who sustain Putin’s war machine should no longer be able to reap the gains of this system and squander the resources of the Russian people.

Banning U.S. Import of Goods from Several Signature Sectors of Russia’s Economy. President Biden’s E.O. will also prohibit the import of goods from several signature sectors of Russia’s economy – including seafood, spirits/vodka, and non-industrial diamonds. This will deny Russia more than $1 billion in export revenues and ensure U.S. citizens are not underwriting Putin’s war. The United States retains the authority to impose additional import bans as appropriate.

New guidance by the Department of Treasury to Thwart Sanctions Evasion, including through Virtual Currency. The Department of the Treasury, through new guidance, will continue to make clear that Treasury’s expansive actions against Russia require all U.S. persons to comply with sanctions regulations regardless of whether a transaction is denominated in traditional fiat currency or virtual currency. Treasury is closely monitoring any efforts to circumvent or violate Russia-related sanctions, including through the use of virtual currency, and is committed to using its broad enforcement authorities to act against violations and to promote compliance.  

Creating the Authority to Ban New Investment in Any Sector of the Russian Federation Economy. President Biden has already banned new U.S. investments in the Russian energy sector. This E.O. will establish the legal authority for future investment restrictions in any sector of the Russian economy, as may be determined by the Secretary of the Treasury, in consultation with the Secretary of State, by a United States person.

On Feb. 21, Biden issued an earlier executive order with numerous economic sanctions against Russia, which has since stepped up its attacks on Ukraine. That prior order is at this link.

Photo: On June 16, 2021, President Joe Biden and Russian President Vladimir Putin met in Geneva to discuss pressing issues including strategic stability and arms control, ransomware attacks, human rights, and Ukraine. Photo by Russian government.

15 COMMENTS

  1. We need a Patton like Trump and instead we have an old washed up crooked frump sock puppet. Lord save us!

  2. Now President Biden needs to do the next step and give the order to open the well heads and get the oil flowing.

    • There was no red king crab fishery in Alaska last year due to mismanagement of the fishery and Seattle based trawl fleet bycatch waste. It is unlikely that there will be a season this year. Crab prices are through the roof, but unfortunately it won’t help Alaskan king crab fishermen.

  3. What great planning to put GM’s new battery plant in Canada, phew, no restrictions on the “blood [diamonds] lithium” from mother Russia in old Quebec, bring it to Canada Vlad.

    “Ol’ Joe Biden, saving American manufacturing since 1973”

    ‘https://www.thedetroitbureau.com/2022/03/gm-building-new-plant-for-ev-battery-components-in-canada/

  4. Let’s see: I’m guessing there will never be comparable sanctions on China while China Joe and China Nancy are still in charge. Nice job, Sleepy-Joe-puppet masters. More pressure on the US Middle Class as prices on everything go up and up and up, and still, our oil leases are denied permits to re-establish our oil autonomy. Can’t have autonomy and support globalism at the same time, eh? No kick-backs to the Big Guy if re-opening our economy happened. Pressuring Russia puts China in a more powerful position. There’s no incentive to support the needs of the American people, that is, anybody other than our rich-and-getting-richer globalist elites.

    • Classic right wing string of unrelated grievances except that they are all Biden’s fault.

    • Hey, let’s not let a little Uyghur genocide get between the Biden’s family business’ in China.

      “Nothing to see here, move along, more conspiracy theories, got the Laptop Hunter, good boy” — Joe was heard saying as they boarded Con Air One out of Scranton.

      ‘https://www.reuters.com/article/us-usa-china-concentrationcamps-idUSKCN1S925K

  5. Word to our Financial Saber Rattlers: Be very careful what you ask for.
    .
    INTRO: Stunningly, dangerously stupid, yet supposedly sane Alaskan people, government leaders even, seem happy to help do it.
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    CHAPTER ONE: Traders’ll just buy the stuff, sell it to other spot-market traders with an “approved” country address, who’ll sell it on to Americans. Present, future contracts honored, life goes on, albeit with a price bump. If the Biden regime can’t stop importing fentanyl and illegal aliens, what makes anyone think these heroes can stop importing seafood, diamonds, and vodka?
    .
    Mr. Biden declared economic war on Russia. Russia didn’t invade, attack America, or kill Americans, but with no debate or congressional approval, President Biden destroyed Russia’s currency, removed it from the international banking system, made Russians poor.
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    Mr. Biden seized property of Russian-associated people with no due process, with no explanation of what they did wrong.
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    What’s next? What if Mr. Biden does this to all his perceived domestic enemies in America?
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    What if Mr. Biden does this to you because you don’t like what’s he’s doing to America, and charges you with something bad, hard to understand, much less fight, does to you what he just did to the Russian people, does to you what Mr. Trudeau did to his Canadians?
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    So much for due process and where, under Biden’s regime, we may be headed with that.
    .
    CHAPTER TWO: Thanks to Mr. Biden’s policies, the government can’t just make today’s fuel prices go away.
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    So what do they do? Say it’s not happening, blame someone else for it, lie and keep lying and shouting at people about it, make sure Big Tech filters peoples’ web-search requests to avoid “misinformation” as defined by… Big Tech. Problem solved, right?
    .
    CHAPTER THREE: What country benefits, what country’s wealth comes from America’s global financial structures? If you answer, America… good for you.
    .
    Here’s the dangerous part: What happens when America’s leadership disrupts her global trading structures simply to retaliate against Russian leadership?
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    Mr. Biden banned Russian oil imports, disrupted the world’s oil market, caused oil prices to spike. Americans immediately suffered. But it’s a small price to pay for a moral victory against Putin, right?
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    Wrong. Russia’s a major oil producer. Higher oil prices make Russians richer. Higher oil prices also make other major producers like Arabs, Iranians, and Venezuelans richer.
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    Why? Russia just sells its oil in other markets because nobody outside America cares about Mr. Biden’s sanctions especially when it’s cold and dark and they want to cook or go somewhere.
    .
    Who loses? Not Mr. Putin’s Russia… they win. Mr. Biden’s America loses, plus there’s a bonus.
    .
    Mr. Biden’s mismanagement caused commodity prices, across the board, to go through the roof. Everything: grown goods like wheat, rice, cattle, mined goods like gold, silver, helium, oil, rare-earth minerals, energy products like electricity, gas, coal, gasoline, to name but a few.
    .
    Who pays these inflated prices? Productive Americans pay.
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    It’s the biggest tax increase of all time: America’s government forced it on Americans, forced them to pay it, and it could get worse.
    .
    Worse how? Oil trades in petrodollars which greatly benefits America, so why should the rest of the world, including major oil producers who hate America, keep trading oil in U.S. dollars while America’s leadership disrupts the value of their currency and forces financial uncertainty on oil markets?
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    Now the world market has a much more persuasive incentive to trade oil in another currency like the ruble, yuan, crypto or euro, but not in unstable U.S. dollars.
    .
    Thanks to Mr. Biden’s sanctions, and every government leader who supports them, nothing prevents the world market from responding to the same incentive to create new markets in which all commodities, including oil, are traded, but not in unstable U.S. dollars
    .
    …which signals the beginning of a huge, possibly unrecoverable loss for Americans whose dollar won’t be the world’s reserve currency any longer, which means the dollar could be just as worthless at home, too.
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    CHAPTER FOUR: Can’t happen? If nobody abroad takes wortless American dollars anymore, why should anyone at home take them?
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    Probably won’t end well for Mr. Biden’s government either. What happens if government can’t sell any more debt, can’t finance its deficit spending because there’s no more market for T-bills; nobody’ll buy them because they’re backed by a currency nobody values any longer?
    .
    Bottom line: Imagine what happens when the Biden-Yellin inflation-sanction policy finally kills the dollar’s value and foreign holders of American T-bills, America’s IOU’s, decide to foreclose… demand something of value in lieu of America’s now worthless money.
    .
    What shall we give them? What might they do if we don’t give them something of value in lieu of America’s newly worthless money?
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    And what, neighbors, will we do if they decide to repossess something of value in lieu of America’s newly worthless money?
    .
    How does this dance end, Financial Saber Rattlers? Sanctions, sanity, something else?
    .
    So much for a “word”. More like 903 words!
    .
    Oh well, if you read this far, sincere thanx and good on you, mate(s). You got a line to Someone Important who can fix this problem while we still have a country and a dollar, maybe you could like, ring ’em up, holler for help?

  6. Morrigan – excellent analysis! Russia is also one of the world’s largest exporters of fertilizer. Guess which country won’t be getting any of that fertilizer anymore? American farmers have already been hit with high fertilizer prices and now a major supplier has just been eliminated. It is obvious that Demented Joe did not think his policies through. He is about to inflict catastophic pain on his own country. He needs to be impeached immediately before he can inflict any more wounds on the USA.

  7. Russia-Ukraine mess is showing to be a much more complicated mess than one nation entering another nation. The ukrainian president is not that innocent, although very honorable of him not fleeing while innocent ukranians are facing the fire because of globalist national leaders.

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