How to stop the Russo-Ukrainian war

4 March, 10:52 AM
The red eye of the Kremlin (Photo:REUTERS/Maxim Shemetov)

The red eye of the Kremlin (Photo:REUTERS/Maxim Shemetov)

Only additional harsh sanctions on different stakeholders in Russia can force the Kremlin to step back.

On February 24, Vladimir Putin launched a disgusting and devastating war against Ukraine. However, Russian armed forces faced fierce resistance and took heavy losses. As a result, the Russian army resorted to the carpet bombing of Ukrainian civilians — a genocide on a scale unseen in Europe since the World War Two.

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The whole world has united in support of Ukraine and imposed heavy sanctions on Russia to force Moscow to de-escalate. Yet Putin is continuing his bloody assault on Ukrainian cities. We are confident that only additional harsh sanctions, targeted at a variety of stakeholders in Russia, can put enough pressure on the Kremlin to step back.

The whole world has united in support of Ukraine.

A group of Ukrainian analysts and economists have created a list of new sanctions targets that we are sure will help do the job. We appeal to our European and American partners to consider them as soon as possible to make the cost of continuing this war for Russia simply unbearable. And please hurry up. It is no longer about the economy or living standards. It is about saving thousands of lives of Ukrainians now, and other Europeans later. 

1. Maximize pressure via financial sanctions:

— Expand SWIFT blocking and SDN designation to entire banking system

— Full ban by Visa and Mastercard

— FATF should blacklist both Russia and Belarus

— De-listing of all Russian securities from global stock exchanges, removal from all investor indices, disconnecting Russia from global securities and FX clearing and depositories

— Blanket ban for US and EU pension systems to hold Russian assets

— Blanket ban for any Russian entity to raise funds abroad.

2. Expand all existing sanctions on Russian officials and oligarchs to their families. Send children and wives of sanctioned Russians from EU and US back home. All existing assets should be confiscated.

3. Property confiscation for all sanctioned Russians in EU and US. This should extend to cryptocurrency wallets, including ‘crypto vaults' in Switzerland.

4. Current sanctions list to be expanded to all Duma members (including future elected members), senior government officials and top 100 oligarchs.

5. G7 should put pressure on UAE and other global financial hubs to ensure worldwide compliance with the sanctions regime.

6. No global financial services for Russian and Belarusian citizens: existing accounts to be closed and no new accounts opened in banks, brokerages, electronic money institutions. Ban on acquisition of assets including real estate. All existing assets should be frozen.

7. No travel and education for Russian and Belarusian citizens: travel and visa ban for all passport holders, cancel all student visas, and request to leave. Limit cash on hand for Russians returning to Russia to 2,000 USD.

8. No loopholes via ‘golden passports': ban future golden passports, withdraw existing ones for sanctioned people and their families.

9. No international trade for Russia and Belarus: embargo on oil and gas, military exports, general ban on exports from the West to Russia (chemical products, agriculture seed stock, food and beverages, pharma, apparel, electronics, spare parts, machine-building, cars and cosmetics).

10. Block all technology transfers to Russia: stop Western exports of technological equipment (computers, servers, semiconductors, consumer devices), expand this to Western software (no new installations and updates, existing licenses to be pulled) and cloud services (to be ceased immediately). All services such as Google Play Market, Apple Store, Google Maps, Amazon Web Services should be subject to this rule and no longer available in Russia.

11. Block Rus/Bel media channels and propaganda-oriented bloggers from access to Youtube and other streaming platforms. Global satellites should be banned from airing RT.

12. Block maritime, railway and airport logistics for Rus and Russian owned vessels: no entry, no port service, no refueling.

13. Sanctions should be expanded to all state owned enterprises in Russia aiding their military effort: Gazprom, Rosneft, Roscosmos, RZhD, Rosatom. All joint projects with EU/US should be frozen. All assets in the West should be frozen.

14. Limit provision of auxiliary services which enable large Russian industries:

— Provision of insurance and reinsurance for risks, freights and vessels

— Auditing by ‘Big Four' companies

— G7 should put pressure on ‘tax haven' countries from opening accounts and registering new companies for Russian beneficiaries.

— Use of bearer shares by Russians should be blocked in EU and Switzerland.

15. Freeze Russia and Belarus SDRs at IMF and use those for a new program for Ukraine.

16. Focus on a very widespread freeze of assets of Russia sovereign as well as state owned companies to help Ukraine get reparations from Russia in the future.

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