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Yellen says Treasury to curb wealth of Russian oligarchs over Ukraine war -Breaking


© Reuters. Janet Yellen is the Treasury Secretary and attends the hearing at House Financial Services Committee, Washington, U.S.A. September 30, 2021. Al Drago/Pool via REUTERS

By David Lawder

CHICAGO (Reuters). U.S. Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen announced Wednesday that the United States has immobilized half the Russian central bank assets and will continue to impose serious consequences on Russian President Vladimir Putin, and on the rich oligarchs supporting him, if he escalates the war in Ukraine.

Yellen, speaking in Chicago to promote President Joe Biden’s economic agenda, said the Treasury has “made it a priority to go after oligarchs or Russian elites who are key to President Putin’s corrupt power”.

“We have sanctioned many of these individuals over the last few weeks and we are assembling a task force with Justice Department colleagues and our allies to uncover, freeze, and seize their wealth around the world.”

Yellen was in Chicago to visit the Ukrainian Village neighborhood along with Jay Pritzker from Illinois. She said that allies and the United States have been working together to isolate Russia. It is now more difficult for Putin, she stated, to finance Russian aggression towards Ukraine. She said that 80 percent of Russia’s assets in the banking sector are currently under restriction.

“Russia is increasingly on an economic island,” she said. “If President Putin continues this unprovoked invasion, President Biden and our allies and partners around the world will remain steadfast in our commitment to continue to impose severe consequences against Russia and hold President Putin accountable for his illegal and amoral actions.”

Yellen added that America needs stronger economic policies in order to be more secure at home despite the fact that COVID-19 has led to an unprecedented economic recovery and U.S. economic growth which appears to be on track to increase.

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