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Western allies to expel some Russian banks from global payments system

Sanctions on Russia's central bank could limit Putin's use of his more than $630 billion in international reserves, which have been widely seen as insulating Russia from some economic harm.

February 27, 2022 / 09:24 AM IST
Russian President Vladimir Putin (Image: Reuters)

Russian President Vladimir Putin (Image: Reuters)

Western allies announced sweeping new sanctions against Moscow on Saturday, including kicking some Russian banks off the main global payments system, as a defiant President Volodymyr Zelenskiy said Ukrainian forces were repelling Russian troops advancing on Kyiv.

Seeking to ratchet up economic punishment for Russian President Vladimir Putin over his invasion of Ukraine, the United States and its European partners also said they would impose restrictions on Russian's central bank to limit its ability to support the rouble.

The announcement came as fighting continued across Ukraine. Reuters witnesses in Kyiv reported occasional blasts and gunfire in the city on Saturday evening, but it was not clear exactly where it was coming from. The capital and other cities have been pounded by Russian artillery and cruise missiles.

Putin launched what he called a special military operation before dawn on Thursday, ignoring Western warnings and saying the "neo-Nazis" ruling Ukraine threatened Russia's security.