U.S. officials circle around the globe to keep pressure on Putin as the ruble rises.

U.S. officials circle around the globe to keep pressure on Putin as the ruble rises.

Deputy Treasury Secretary Wally Adeyemo met with senior officials in London, Brussels and Paris, and will conclude the week in Berlin; Deputy National Security Adviser for International Economics Daleep Singh lobbied Indian officials in New Delhi, while Secretary of State Antony Blinken discussed the war in Ukraine with Abu Dhabi Crown Prince Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed al-Nahyan in Morocco.

The efforts come as the initial impact of extremely severe sanctions on Russian banks, oligarchs and declining businesses begins as the United States considers the next economic steps to isolate Russian President Vladimir Putin .

Days after major Russian banks cut off SWIFT’s international financial transactions network and locked up most of Russia’s $ 630 billion foreign currency war bank, the ruble lost half its value, prompting U.S. officials to Moscow is said to be facing a financial crisis.

But a month later, the ruble was back to its pre-invasion level for the most part, partly perverted by Russian capital controls, government orders for exporting companies to sell foreign currency and companies raising funds to end taxes pay term. Shares on the Russian stock market are trading again, although they have lost value.

The Russian bank VTB, the main target of sanctions, remains open for business in Europe, where it has accumulated billions of euros in deposits, mainly from German savers. Other Russian banks are considering China’s UnionPay credit card system following the suspension of Visa and Mastercard operations in Russia.

And the sanctions to date have left Russia ‘s largest economic life unscathed – energy sales to Europe, which can fetch up to 500 million euros ($ 555 million) per day at current prices. Russia has been demanding Ruble payments for gas since Friday, which could push the currency higher.

The Biden administration is making sure that European allies are firmly aligned in punishing Putin, as they work to influence leaders left on the sidelines as the war progresses, officials say.

“We must continue to increase pressure on Russia and increase our support for Ukraine,” a senior American official said, on condition of anonymity. “It is a challenge facing the free world and all democratic nations. And we must be prepared for it to last a long time.”

COUNTER CHINA, WARN IND

The visits closely follow Biden’s visit to Europe last week and come as Russia and China – the world’s second largest economy – grow ever closer. Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi met with his Russian counterpart Sergei Lavrov on Wednesday, reaffirming Beijing’s plans to continue to strengthen bilateral ties and cooperation.

Deputy Treasury Secretary Adeyemo’s discussions with his European colleagues focused on sanctions, the impact of India and China on Russia’s potential attempts to evade sanctions, and how to help countries like Germany meet their energy needs in the event of a Russian embargo, he said. European official.

In Brussels, officials discussed steps to “align the application and enforcement of sanctions, expand joint cooperation on sanctions and deepen the transatlantic alliance on sanctions”, the Treasury said.

One of the key issues was Russia’s demand that foreign buyers pay for their Russian gas imports in Rubles from Friday or address supply cuts, an EU official said. European capitals rejected the request, which the German government described as “blackmail”.

It is vital that the United States continues to maintain its relations with its allies, said Catherine Novelli, a former senior U.S. trade official and diplomat, noting that the momentum of sanctions and other punitive measures is difficult. detained after the initial anger has subsided.

In India, White House economic adviser Singh, who has led efforts to coordinate the Western response to the war, told officials that Washington would not set any red lines on oil purchases, but warns against rapid acceleration of purchases.

India is militarily dependent on Russian technology and equipment and has sought to balance its long-term ties with Russia and the West. Unlike other members of the Quadrilateral group of countries – the United States, Japan, Australia – it did not impose sanctions on Russia.

Mr Singh spoke ahead of the arrival of the Russian Foreign Minister, Mr Lavrov, in the Indian capital on a two – day trip.

($ 1 = 0.9034 euro)

Editors al.

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