G7 Vows New Russia Sanctions If Invasion Continues

Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, Britain and the United States warned in a joint statement that they would “take further steps” to add to the sanctions already announced if Russia did not cease its operation.

G7 ready to tighten sanctions on Russia:

Leaders of the G7 on Sunday threatened fresh sanctions against Russia as the top US diplomat Antony Blinken said the group of wealthy nations was “fully aligned” against Moscow’s invasion of Ukraine.
Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, Britain and the United States warned in a joint statement that they would “take further steps” to add to the sanctions already announced if Russia did not cease its operation.

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Russian military gains in Ukraine achieved through its ongoing campaign leading to “any change of status” such as the annexation of territory “will not be recognised”, G7 foreign ministers said in a joint statement.

In a later statement, Blinken said the group has “never been more fully aligned across the globe to defend and preserve the freedom and sovereignty of Ukraine and all states.”

G7 nations have already slapped harsh sanctions on Russia for invading neighbouring Ukraine.

The United States and EU have excluded some Russian banks from the international bank payments system SWIFT and personally targeted President Vladimir Putin and Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov.

On Sunday, Japan said it will also join in removing selected Russian banks from the SWIFT messaging system, offer millions in humanitarian aid, and seek to identify and freeze assets belonging to Putin and other Russian officials.

Blinken said Tokyo’s move demonstrates the G7’s “unity and resolve” and will help to “impose massive costs on Russia and thwart its ability to wage its war of choice on Ukraine.”

The European Union on Sunday announced plans to bar Russian planes from its airspace, after individual member states and Britain had earlier taken similar measures.

Russia annexed Ukraine’s Crimean peninsula in 2014, but the West has refused to recognise the change in territorial status.

Moscow also backed separatists in Ukraine’s eastern Donetsk and Lugansk regions from 2014 in a conflict that has claimed more than 14,000 lives, according to monitoring groups.

Putin’s decision to recognise the breakaway republics as independent states this week sparked international condemnation as an assault on Ukraine’s territorial integrity.

rublo-bitcoin
Ruble-bitcoin exchanges on the rise

Boom for the Ruble-Bitcoin exchange rate

Data on trading volumes on exchanges for the BTC/RUB (Bitcoin/Russian Ruble) pair reveal that there has been a sudden boom since the middle of last week. 

This boom wasn’t triggered on the day Putin announced his intention to annex Ukraine, nor when the first Russian troops entered Ukrainian territory. It occurred at the very moment when it became clear that Western states would impose sanctions aimed in particular at the Russian banking system. 

So when the Russians began to realize that they would really have to deal with extensive restrictions on the use of their fiat money, they started buying BTC with the rubles they had on the exchanges. 

The turning point occurred on Thursday 24 February, when the price of Bitcoin, not surprisingly, rebounded to $38,000 after falling almost to $34,000. 

The second turning point occurred yesterday, with the price of Bitcoin jumping from $38,000 to $43,000. It is safe to assume that in the event of further sanctions the Russians will be even more driven to use Bitcoin instead of fiat currencies

It remains to be seen what real purchasing power Russians have on crypto exchanges, but given that many wealthy Russians live abroad and have reserves in various currencies, it is possible that there is still plenty of room for further purchases. 


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