U.S. financial institutions have been prohibited to buy Russian bonds issued after June 14, 2021.
This was announced by the U.S. Department of the Treasury on its website.
"The following activities by a U.S. financial institution are prohibited as of June 14, 2021, except to the extent provided by law or unless licensed or otherwise authorized by the Office of Foreign Assets Control: (1) participation in the primary market for ruble or non-ruble denominated bonds issued after June 14, 2021 by the Central Bank of the Russian Federation, the National Wealth Fund of the Russian Federation, or the Ministry of Finance of the Russian Federation; and (2) lending ruble or non-ruble denominated funds to the Central Bank of the Russian Federation, the National Wealth Fund of the Russian Federation, or the Ministry of Finance of the Russian Federation," it said in its directive.
Directive 1 was issued under Executive Order of April 15, 2021, blocking property with respect to specified harmful foreign activities of the government of the Russian Federation.
This measure is not applicable to the secondary market.
The term "U.S. financial institution" means any U.S. entity (including its foreign branches) that is engaged in the business of accepting deposits, making, granting, transferring, holding, or brokering loans or other extensions of credit, or purchasing or selling foreign exchange, securities, commodity futures or options, or procuring purchasers and sellers thereof, as principal or agent. The term includes depository institutions, banks, savings banks, trust companies, securities brokers and dealers, futures and options brokers and dealers, forward contract and foreign exchange merchants, securities and commodities exchanges, clearing corporations, investment companies, employee benefit plans, and U.S. holding companies, U.S. affiliates, or U.S. subsidiaries of any of the foregoing. This term includes those branches, offices, and agencies of foreign financial institutions that are located in the United States, but not such institutions’ foreign branches, offices, or agencies.
- Earlier, the United States accused Russia of trying to undermine democratic elections in the United States and allied countries, involvement in hacker attacks on infrastructure in the United States and allied countries, transnational corruption in order to influence foreign governments.
- The Acting Director of the Office of Foreign Assets Control has determined, in consultation with the Department of State, that the Central Bank of the Russian Federation, the National Wealth Fund (NWF) of the Russian Federation, and the Ministry of Finance of the Russian Federation are "political subdivisions, agencies, or instrumentalities of the Government of the Russian Federation."
- In early June, Russian Finance Minister Anton Siluanov said that Russia would give up the U.S. dollar in the NWF structure within a month. Now its share is 35%, or about US$39.84 billion.