US imposes 500 new sanctions against Russia: Key takeaways

The Biden administration has issued new sanctions against Russia after the recent death of Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny, a staunch critic of President Vladimir Putin. The announcement includes over 500 sanctions against Russia's military, payment systems, and more.

Yahoo Finance Senior Reporter Jennifer Schonberger joins the Live show to discuss the newest sanctions imposed by the United States, two years after Russia's invasion of Ukraine.

For more expert insight and the latest market action, click here to watch this full episode of Yahoo Finance Live.

Editor's note: This article was written by Nicholas Jacobino

Video Transcript

AKIKO FUJITA: Well, the Biden administration is announcing new sanctions against Russia in response to the recent death of Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny and the wake of Russia's invasion of Ukraine. Let's bring in Yahoo Finance's Jen Schonberger to discuss more. And Jen, we should note that this marks two years since that invasion.


JENNIFER SCHONBERGER: That's right, Akiko. And to mark that two-year anniversary of Russia's invasion into Ukraine, the US Treasury in concert with the State Department are unleashing more than 500 new sanctions against Russia's military payment system and countries that have been assisting Russia.

Among the litany of new sanction targets announced today, one of Russia's financial rails of commerce underpinning what's known as the mere payment system. It's basically the alternative to Western processors like Visa and Mastercard, as well two top-50 companies by revenue in Russia and SPB Bank which is owned by Russia's second largest stock exchange.

The new sanctions would also hit the whole supply chain of Russia's defense industry, including defense companies, companies that help defense companies like machine tools, as well as companies in the automation, lubricants, robotics, and software areas. Treasury also targeting 37 entities and individuals and countries assisting Russia, including China, Serbia, and the United Arab Emirates.

The new sanctions come as the US tries to continue squeezing Russia and stop further attacks on Ukraine. At the same time, the administration is pushing House lawmakers to pass aid the Senate's already approved to Russia. Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen saying in a statement this morning, quote, "We must sustain our support for Ukraine even as we weaken Russia's war machine. It is critical that Congress steps up to join our allies around the world in giving Ukraine the means to defend itself and its freedom against Putin's barbarous assault."

Now, today's actions bring the total number of sanctions against Russia to 4,000 over the past 2 years. Guys?

RACHELLE AKUFFO: So Jennifer, with that in mind then, you mentioned 4,000 sanctions at this point. So how much pressure is this actually going to add? How effective could these new sanctions be realistically?

JENNIFER SCHONBERGER: Great question, Rachelle. Analysts are actually saying this is expected to deliver a limited blow. And the reason for that is that Biden administration is a bit limited in its options here. The administration in concert with Western allies have imposed an oil price cap, which the administration says is working.

If you look at Russia's economy, the number one revenue generator is oil and energy. And while that may be limiting Russia's revenues, it's not stopping them altogether. And Western allies and the US really want to avoid an outright oil embargo because that could send energy prices skyrocketing, which would be detrimental to the US and global economy.

Now, today, we also have Senator Schumer from the Senate leading a delegation in Ukraine to try to put pressure on House Republicans to pass aid for Ukraine that the Senate has already passed, unclear whether that is going to work in their favor as the Republican Party remains torn on this issue. The house not expected to be back in session until next Wednesday.

RACHELLE AKUFFO: I appreciate you getting us up to speed on all the latest there out of DC. Our very own Jennifer Schonberger, thanks so much.