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    U.S. Eyeing Russian Energy Sanctions Over Ukraine War, Officials Say

    BERLIN — The Biden administration is developing plans to further choke Russia’s oil revenues with the long-term goal of destroying the country’s central role in the global energy economy, current and former U.S. officials say, a major escalatory step that could put the United States in political conflict with China, India, Turkey and other nations that buy Russian oil.The proposed measures include imposing a price cap on Russian oil, backed by so-called secondary sanctions, which would punish foreign buyers that do not comply with U.S. restrictions by blocking them from doing business with American companies and those of partner nations.As President Vladimir V. Putin wages war in Ukraine, the United States and its allies have imposed sanctions on Russia that have battered its economy. But the nearly $20 billion per month that Russia continues to reap from oil sales could sustain the sort of grinding conflict underway in eastern Ukraine and finance any future aggressions, according to officials and experts.U.S. officials say the main question now is how to starve Moscow of that money while ensuring that global oil supplies do not drop, which could lead to a rise in prices that benefits Mr. Putin and worsens inflation in the United States and elsewhere. As U.S. elections loom, President Biden has said a top priority is dealing with inflation.While U.S. officials say they do not want to immediately take large amounts of Russian oil off the market, they are trying to push countries to wean themselves off those imports in the coming months. A U.S. ban on sales of critical technologies to Russia is partly aimed at crippling its oil companies over many years. U.S. officials say the market will eventually adjust as the Russian industry fades.Russia’s oil industry is already under pressure. The United States banned Russian oil imports in March, and the European Union hopes to announce a similar measure soon. Its foreign ministers discussed a potential embargo in Brussels on Monday. The Group of 7 industrialized nations, which includes Britain, Japan and Canada, agreed this month to gradually phase out Russian oil imports and their finance ministers are meeting in Bonn, Germany, this week to discuss details.“We very much support the efforts that Europe, the European Union, is making to wean itself off of Russian energy, whether that’s oil or ultimately gas,” Antony J. Blinken, the secretary of state, said in Berlin on Sunday when asked about future energy sanctions at a news conference of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization. “It’s not going to end overnight, but Europe is clearly on track to move decisively in that direction.”“As this is happening, the United States has taken a number of steps to help,” he added.But Russian oil exports increased in April, and soaring prices mean that Russia has earned 50 percent more in revenues this year compared to the same period in 2021, according to a new report from the International Energy Agency in Paris. India and Turkey, a NATO member, have increased their purchases. South Korea is buying less but remains a major customer, as does China, which criticizes U.S. sanctions. The result is a Russian war machine still powered by petrodollars.American officials are looking at “what can be done in the more immediate term to reduce the revenues that the Kremlin is generating from selling oil, and make sure countries outside the sanctions coalition, like China and India, don’t undercut the sanctions by just buying more oil,” said Edward Fishman, who oversaw sanctions policy at the State Department after Russia annexed Crimea in 2014.As President Vladimir V. Putin of Russia wages war in Ukraine, the United States and its allies have imposed a range of sanctions that have battered the Russian economy.David Guttenfelder for The New York TimesThe Biden administration is looking at various types of secondary sanctions and has yet to settle on a definite course of action, according to the officials, who spoke on the condition of anonymity to discuss policies still under internal consideration. The United States imposed secondary sanctions to cut off Iran’s exports in an effort to curtail its nuclear program.Large foreign companies generally comply with U.S. regulations to avoid sanctions if they engage in commerce with American companies or partner nations.“If we’re talking about Rubicons to cross, I think the biggest one is the secondary sanctions piece,” said Richard Nephew, a scholar at Columbia University who was a senior official on sanctions in the Obama and Biden administrations. “That means we tell other countries: If you do business with Russia, you can’t do business with the U.S.”But sanctions have a mixed record. Severe economic isolation has done little to change the behavior of governments from Iran to North Korea to Cuba and Venezuela.One measure American officials are discussing would require foreign companies to pay a below-market price for Russian oil — or suffer U.S. sanctions. Washington would assign a price for Russian oil that is well under the global market value, which is currently more than $100 per barrel. Russia’s last budget set a break-even price for its oil above $40. A price cap would reduce Russia’s profits without increasing global energy costs.The U.S. government could also cut off most Russian access to payments for oil. Washington would do this by issuing a regulation that requires foreign banks dealing in payments to put the money in an escrow account if they want to avoid sanctions. Russia would be able to access the money only to purchase essential goods like food and medicine.And as those mechanisms are put in place, U.S. officials would press nations to gradually decrease their purchases of Russian oil, as they did with Iranian oil.“There wouldn’t be a ban on Russian oil and gas per se,” said Maria Snegovaya, a visiting scholar at George Washington University who has studied sanctions on Russia. “Partly this is because that would send the price skyrocketing. Russia can benefit from a skyrocketing price.”But enforcing escrow payments or price caps globally could be difficult. Under the new measures, the United States would have to confront nations that are not part of the existing sanctions coalition and, like India and China, want to maintain good relations with Russia.In 2020, the Trump administration imposed sanctions on companies in China, Vietnam and the United Arab Emirates for their roles in the purchase or transport of Iranian oil.A U.S.-led assault on Russia’s oil revenues would widen America’s role in the conflict.Alexey Malgavko/ReutersExperts say the measures could be announced in response to a new Russian provocation, such as a chemical weapons attack, or to give Kyiv more leverage if Ukraine starts serious negotiations with Moscow.Russia-Ukraine War: Key DevelopmentsCard 1 of 3In Mariupol. More

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    Russian Shipping Traffic Remains Strong as Sanctions Take Time to Bite

    WASHINGTON — Shipping traffic in and out of Russia has remained relatively strong in the past few months as companies have raced to fulfill contracts for purchases of energy and other goods before the full force of global sanctions goes into effect.With the European Union poised to introduce a ban on Russian oil in the coming months, that situation could change significantly. But so far, data show that while commerce with Russia has been reduced in many cases, it has yet to be crippled.Volumes of crude and oil products shipped out of Russian ports, for example, climbed to 25 million metric tons in April, data from the shipping tracker Refinitiv showed, up from around 24 million metric tons in December, January, February and March, and mostly above the levels of the last two years.Jim Mitchell, the head of oil research for the Americas at Refinitiv, said that Russia’s outgoing shipments in April had been buoyed by the global economic recovery from the pandemic, and that they did not yet reflect the impact of sanctions and other restrictions on Russia issued after its invasion of Ukraine on Feb. 24.Crude oil typically trades 45 to 60 days ahead of delivery, he said, meaning that changes to behavior following the Russian invasion were still working their way through the system.“The volume has been slow to decline, because these were contracts that have already been set,” Mr. Mitchell said. Defaulting on such contracts is “a nightmare for both sides,” he said, adding, “which means that even in the current environment nobody really wants to breach a contract.”Russia has stopped publishing data on its imports and exports since Western governments united to announce their array of sanctions and other restrictions. Exports of oil or gas that leave Russia through pipelines can also be difficult for outside firms to verify.But the global activities of the massive vessels that call on Russian ports to pick up and deliver containers of consumer products or bulk-loads of grain and oil are easier to monitor. Ships are required to transmit their identity, position, course and other information through automatic tracking systems, which are monitored by a variety of firms like Refinitiv, MarineTraffic, Kpler and others.These firms say that shipping traffic was relatively robust in March and April, despite the extraordinary tensions with Russia since its invasion of Ukraine. That reflects both how long some of the sanctions issued by the West are taking to come into effect and an enduring profit motive for trading with Russia, especially after prices for its energy products and commodities have cratered.Data from MarineTraffic, for example, a platform that shows the live location of ships around the world using those on-ship tracking systems, indicates that traffic from Russia’s major ports declined after the invasion but did not plummet. The number of container ships, tankers and bulkers — the three main types of vessels that move energy and consumer products — arriving and leaving Russian ports was down about 23 percent in March and April compared with the year earlier.“The reality is that the sanctions haven’t been so difficult to maneuver around,” said Georgios Hatzimanolis, who analyzes global shipping for MarineTraffic.Tracking by Lloyd’s List Intelligence, a maritime information service, shows similar trends. The number of bulk carriers, which transport loose cargo like grain, coal and fertilizer, that sailed from Russian ports in the five weeks after the invasion was down only 6 percent from the five-week period before the invasion, according to the service.In the weeks following the invasion, Russia’s trade with China and Japan was broadly stable, while the number of bulk carriers headed to South Korea, Egypt and Turkey actually increased, their data showed.“There’s still a lot of traffic back and forth,” said Sebastian Villyn, the head of risk and compliance data at Lloyd’s List Intelligence. “We haven’t really seen a drop.”Those figures contrast somewhat with statements from global leaders, who have emphasized the crippling nature of the sanctions. Treasury Secretary Janet L. Yellen said on Thursday that the Russian economy was “absolutely reeling,” pointing to estimates that it faces a contraction of 10 percent this year and double-digit inflation. Earlier this week, Ms. Yellen said that the Treasury Department was continuing to deliberate about whether to extend an exemption in its sanctions that has allowed American financial institutions and investors to keep processing Russian bond payments. Speaking at a Senate hearing, she said that officials were actively working to determine the “consequences and spillovers” of allowing the license to expire on May 25, which would likely lead to Russia’s first default on its foreign debt in more than a century.Global sanctions on Russia continue to expand in both their scope and their impact, especially as Europe, a major customer of Russian energy, moves to wean itself off the country’s oil and coal. Trade data suggest that shipments into Russia of high-value products like semiconductors and airplane parts — which are crucial for the military’s ability to wage war — have plummeted because of export controls issued by the United States and its allies.But many sanctions have been targeted at certain strategic goods, or exempted energy products — which are Russia’s major exports — to avoid causing more pain to consumers at a time of rapid price increases, disrupted supply chains and a growing global food crisis.Truckers lined up to cross into Panemune, Lithuania, near the Russian port of Kaliningrad last month.Paulius Peleckis/Getty ImagesSo far, Western governments have levied an array of financial restrictions, including banning transactions with Russia’s central bank and sovereign wealth fund, freezing the assets of many Russian officials and oligarchs, and cutting off Russian banks from international transactions. Canada and the United States have already banned imports of Russian energy, and also prohibited Russian ships from calling at their ports, but the countries are not among Russia’s largest energy customers.The Russia-Ukraine War and the Global EconomyCard 1 of 7A far-reaching conflict. More

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    Yellen Says Aim Is ‘Maximum Pain’ for Russia Without Hurting U.S.

    WASHINGTON — Treasury Secretary Janet L. Yellen said on Wednesday that the United States would continue taking steps to cut Russia off from the global financial system in response to its invasion of Ukraine and argued that the sanctions already imposed had taken a severe toll on the Russian economy.She addressed the House Financial Services Committee as the United States rolled out a new array of sanctions on Russian banks and state-owned enterprises and on the adult children of President Vladimir V. Putin. The White House also announced a ban on Americans making new investments in Russia no matter where those investors are based.“Our goal from the outset has been to impose maximum pain on Russia, while to the best of our ability shielding the United States and our partners from undue economic harm,” Ms. Yellen told lawmakers.The measures introduced on Wednesday included “full blocking” sanctions against Sberbank, the largest financial institution in Russia, and Alfa Bank, one of the country’s largest privately owned banks.Sberbank is the main artery in the Russian financial system and holds over a third of the country’s financial assets. In February, the Treasury announced limited sanctions against Sberbank, but Wednesday’s sanctions, a senior Biden administration official said, will effectively freeze relations between the bank and the U.S. financial system.The administration also announced sanctions against two adult daughters of Mr. Putin: Katerina Tikhonova and Maria Putina, who has been living under an assumed name, Maria Vorontsova. Others connected to Russian officials with close ties to Mr. Putin will also face sanctions, including the wife and daughter of Russia’s foreign minister, Sergey Lavrov, and members of Russia’s security council, including former Prime Minister Dmitri Medvedev. The official said those people would be effectively cut off from the U.S. banking system and any assets held in the United States.President Biden said on Wednesday that the new sanctions would deal another blow to the Russian economy.“The sense of brutality and inhumanity, left for all the world to see unapologetically,” Mr. Biden said, describing Russia’s actions as war crimes. “Responsible nations have to come together to hold these perpetrators accountable, and together with our allies and our partners we’re going to keep raising the economic costs and ratchet up the pain for Putin and further increase Russia’s economic isolation.”Experts suggested that the latest round of sanctions were unlikely to compel Mr. Putin to change course. Hundreds of American businesses have pulled out of Russia in recent weeks, making new investments unlikely.“The asset freezes on the additional banks aren’t nothing, but this isn’t the most significant tranche we’ve seen to date,” said Daniel Tannebaum, a partner at Oliver Wyman who advises banks on sanctions.Other American agencies are joining the effort to exert pressure on Russia.In a news conference on Wednesday, officials from the Justice Department and the F.B.I. also announced a series of actions and criminal charges against Russians, including the takedown of a Russian marketplace on the dark web and a botnet, or a network of hijacked devices infected with malware, that is controlled by the country’s military intelligence agency.Justice Department officials also celebrated the seizing of the Tango, a superyacht owned by the Russian oligarch Viktor F. Vekselberg, and charged a Russian banker, Konstantin Malofeev, with conspiring to violate U.S. sanctions. Mr. Malofeev is one of Russia’s most influential magnates and among the most prominent conservatives in the country’s Kremlin-allied elite. (The indictment renders his surname as Malofeyev.)At the hearing, Ms. Yellen told lawmakers that she believed Russia should be further isolated from the geopolitical system, including being shut out of international gatherings such as the Group of 20 meetings this year, and should be denounced at this month’s meetings of the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank. She added that the United States might not participate in some G20 meetings that are being held in Indonesia this year if Russians attended.Ms. Yellen, whose department has been developing many of the punitive economic measures, rebutted criticism that the penalties leveled so far had not been effective, in part because there are some exceptions to allow Russia to sell energy.The Russia-Ukraine War and the Global EconomyCard 1 of 6Rising concerns. More

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    Amid Sanctions, Putin Reminds the World of His Own Economic Weapons

    The Russian leader has stabilized the ruble and kept Europe’s leaders guessing by threatening to cut off energy. But he has left the country financially isolated.LONDON — In the five weeks since Russia invaded Ukraine, the United States, the European Union and their allies began an economic counteroffensive that has cut off Russia’s access to hundreds of billions of dollars of its own money and halted a large chunk of its international commerce. More than 1,000 companies, organizations and individuals, including members of President Vladimir V. Putin’s inner circle, have been sanctioned and relegated to a financial limbo.But Mr. Putin reminded the world this past week that he has economic weapons of his own that he could use to inflict some pain or fend off attacks.Through a series of aggressive measures taken by the Russian government and its central bank, the ruble, which had lost nearly half of its value, clawed its way back to near where it was before the invasion.And then there was the threat to stop the flow of gas from Russia to Europe — which was set off by Mr. Putin’s demand that 48 “unfriendly countries” violate their own sanctions and pay for natural gas in rubles. It sent leaders in the capitals of Germany, Italy and other allied nations scrambling and showcased in the most visible way since the war began how much they need Russian energy to power their economies.It was that dependency that caused the United States and Europe to exempt fuel purchases from the stringent sanctions they imposed on Russia at the start of the war. The European Union gets 40 percent of its gas and a quarter of its oil from Russia. A cutoff from one day to the next, Chancellor Olaf Scholz of Germany warned this past week, would plunge “our country and the whole of Europe into a recession.”President Vladimir V. Putin has taken steps to insulate Russia’s economy from the impact of sanctions and to prop up the ruble.Pool photo by Mikhail KlimentyevFor the time being, it appears that the prospect of an imminent stoppage of gas has been averted. But Mr. Putin’s sudden demand for rubles helped prompt Germany and Austria to prepare their citizens for what might come. They took the first official steps toward rationing, with Berlin starting the “early warning” phase of planning for a natural gas emergency.Although President Biden has announced plans to release 180 million barrels of oil from the U.S. reserve supply over the next six months and diverted more liquefied natural gas to Europe, that still would not be enough to replace all of what Russia supplies. Russian oil exports normally represent more than one of every 10 barrels the world consumes.Europe’s ongoing energy purchases send as much as $850 million each day into Russia’s coffers, according to Bruegel, an economics institute in Brussels. That money helps Russia to fund its war efforts and blunts the impact of sanctions. Because of soaring energy prices, gas export revenues from Gazprom, the Russian energy giant, injected $9.3 billion into the country’s economy in March alone, according an estimate by Oxford Economics, a global advisory firm.“The lesson for the West is that the effectiveness of financial sanctions can only go so far absent trade sanctions,” the firm said in a research briefing.Mr. Putin’s feints and jabs — at one point this past week he promised to stop and continue gas deliveries in the same statement — have also kept European leaders off-balance as they try to divine his strategy and motivations.The war has prompted democracies to move away from relying on Russian exports. They’ve proposed cutting natural gas deliveries by two-thirds before next winter and to end them altogether by 2027. Those goals may be overly ambitious, experts say.In any case, the transition to other suppliers and eventually to more renewable energy sources will be expensive and painful. On the whole, Europeans may be poorer and colder at least for a few years because of spiraling prices and dampened economic activity caused by energy shortages.And unlike in Russia, governments in these countries have to answer to voters.“Putin has already demonstrated he’s willing to sacrifice civilians — his and Ukrainians — to score a win,” said Meg Jacobs, a historian at Princeton University. For European democracies, turning down thermostats, reducing speed limits and driving less is a choice, she said. “It only works with mass cooperation.”A liquefied natural gas facility in Italy. President Biden has diverted more gas to Europe, but that will still not be enough to replace what Russia supplies.Clara Vannucci for The New York TimesBut leverage, like gas, is a limited resource. And Mr. Putin’s willingness to use it now means that he will have less of it in the future. It will not be an easy transition for Russia either. Most analysts believe that Europe’s aggressive moves to reduce its reliance on Russian energy will have far-reaching consequences, however.“They are done with Russian gas,” David L. Goldwyn, who served as a State Department special envoy on energy in the Obama administration, said of Europe. “I think even if this war would end, and even if you had a new government in Russia, I think there’s no going back.”The European Commission president, Ursula von der Leyen, said as much when she announced the new energy plan last month: “We simply cannot rely on a supplier who explicitly threatens us.”Security concerns aren’t the only development that has undermined Russia’s standing as a long-term energy supplier. What seemed surprising to economists, lawyers and policymakers about Mr. Putin’s demand to be paid in rubles was that it would have violated sacrosanct negotiated contracts and revealed Russia’s willingness to be an unreliable business partner.As he has tried to wield his energy clout externally, Mr. Putin has taken steps to insulate Russia’s economy from the impact of sanctions and to prop up the ruble. Few things can undermine a country as systemically as an abruptly weakened currency.The Russia-Ukraine War and the Global EconomyCard 1 of 6Rising concerns. More

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    Why the U.S. Can’t Quickly Wean Europe From Russian Gas

    The Biden administration’s plan to send more natural gas to Europe will be hampered by the lack of export and import terminals.HOUSTON — President Biden announced Friday that the United States would send more natural gas to Europe to help it break its dependence on Russian energy. But that plan will largely be symbolic, at least in the short run, because the United States doesn’t have enough capacity to export more gas and Europe doesn’t have the capacity to import significantly more.In recent months, American exporters, with President Biden’s encouragement, have already maximized the output of terminals that turn natural gas into a liquid easily shipped on large tankers. And they have diverted shipments originally bound for Asia to Europe.But energy experts said that building enough terminals on both sides of the Atlantic to significantly expand U.S. exports of liquefied natural gas, or L.N.G., to Europe could take two to five years. That reality is likely to limit the scope of the natural gas supply announcement that Mr. Biden and the European Commission president, Ursula von der Leyen, announced on Friday.“In the near term there are really no good options, other than begging an Asian buyer or two to give up their L.N.G. tanker for Europe,” said Robert McNally, who was an energy adviser to former President George W. Bush. But he added that once sufficient gas terminals were built, the United States could become the “arsenal for energy” that helps Europe break its dependence on Russia. Friday’s agreement, which calls on the United States to help the European Union secure an additional 15 billion cubic meters of liquefied natural gas this year, could also undermine efforts by Mr. Biden and European officials to combat climate change. Once new export and import terminals are built, they will probably keep operating for several decades, perpetuating the use of a fossil fuel much longer than many environmentalists consider sustainable for the planet’s well-being.For now, however, climate concerns appear to be taking a back seat as U.S. and European leaders seek to punish President Vladimir V. Putin of Russia for invading Ukraine by depriving him of billions of dollars in energy sales.The United States has already increased energy exports to Europe substantially. So far this year, nearly three-quarters of U.S. L.N.G. has gone to Europe, up from 34 percent for all of 2021. As prices for natural gas have soared in Europe, American companies have done everything they can to send more gas there. The Biden administration has helped by getting buyers in Asian countries like Japan and South Korea to forgo L.N.G. shipments so they could be sent to Europe.The United States has plenty of natural gas, much of it in shale fields from Pennsylvania to the Southwest. Gas bubbles out of the ground with oil from the Permian Basin, which straddles Texas and New Mexico, and producers there are gradually increasing their output of both oil and gas after greatly reducing production in the first year of the pandemic, when energy prices collapsed.But the big problem with sending Europe more energy is that natural gas, unlike crude oil, cannot easily be put on oceangoing ships. The gas has to first be chilled in an expensive process at export terminals, mostly on the Gulf Coast. The liquid gas is then poured into specialized tankers. When the ships arrive at their destination, the process is run in reverse to convert L.N.G. back into gas.A large export or import terminal can cost more than $1 billion, and planning, obtaining permits and completing construction can take years. There are seven export terminals in the United States and 28 large-scale import terminals in Europe, which also gets L.N.G. from suppliers like Qatar and Egypt.Some European countries, including Germany, have until recently been uninterested in building L.N.G. terminals because it was far cheaper to import gas by pipeline from Russia. Germany is now reviving plans to build its first L.N.G. import terminal on its northern coast.A pier in Wilhelmshaven, Germany, the port where Uniper, a German energy company, wanted to build a liquified natural gas terminal before it was shelved. Now Germany is reviving plans to build it.The New York Times“Europe’s need for gas far exceeds what the system can supply,” said Nikos Tsafos, an energy analyst at the Center for Strategic and International Studies in Washington. “Diplomacy can only do so much.”In the longer term, however, energy experts say the United States could do a lot to help Europe. Along with the European Union, Washington could provide loan guarantees for U.S. export and European import terminals to reduce costs and accelerate construction. Governments could require international lending institutions like the World Bank and the European Investment Bank to make natural gas terminals, pipelines and processing facilities a priority. And they could ease regulations that gas producers, pipeline builders and terminal developers argue have made it more difficult or expensive to build gas infrastructure.Charif Souki, executive chairman of Tellurian, a U.S. gas producer that is planning to build an export terminal in Louisiana, said he hoped the Biden administration would streamline permitting and environmental reviews “to make sure things happen quickly without micromanaging everything.” He added that the government could encourage banks and investors, some of whom have recently avoided oil and gas projects in an effort to burnish their climate credentials, to lend to projects like his.“If all the major banks in the U.S. and major institutions like BlackRock and Blackstone feel comfortable investing in hydrocarbons, and they are not going to be criticized, we will develop $100 billion worth of infrastructure we need,” Mr. Souki said.A handful of export terminals are under construction in the United States and could increase exports by roughly a third by 2026. Roughly a dozen U.S. export terminal projects have been approved by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission but can’t go ahead until they secure financing from investors and lenders.“That’s the bottleneck,” Mr. Tsafos said.Roughly 10 European import terminals are being built or are in the planning stages in Italy, Belgium, Poland, Germany, Cyprus and Greece, but most still don’t have their financing lined up.The Russia-Ukraine War and the Global EconomyCard 1 of 6Rising concerns. More

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    Biden Plans Sanctions on Russian Lawmakers as He Heads to Europe

    A chief goal of the meetings this week is to show that Russia’s invasion of Ukraine will not lead to sniping and disagreement among the United States and its allies.WASHINGTON — President Biden will announce sanctions this week on hundreds of members of Russia’s lower house of Parliament, according to a White House official familiar with the announcement, as the United States and its allies reach for even stronger measures to punish President Vladimir V. Putin for his monthlong invasion of Ukraine.The announcement is scheduled to be made during a series of global summits in Europe on Thursday, when Mr. Biden will press Western leaders for even more aggressive economic actions against Russia as its forces continue to rain destruction on cities in Ukraine.In Brussels on Thursday, Mr. Biden and other leaders will announce a “next phase” of military assistance to Ukraine, new plans to expand and enforce economic sanctions, and an effort to further bolster NATO defenses along the border with Russia, Jake Sullivan, the White House national security adviser, said on Tuesday.“The president is traveling to Europe to ensure we stay united, to cement our collective resolve, to send a powerful message that we are prepared and committed to this for as long as it takes,” Mr. Sullivan told reporters.Officials declined to be specific about the announcements, saying the president will wrap up the details of new sanctions and other steps during his deliberations in Brussels. But Mr. Biden faces a steep challenge as he works to confront Mr. Putin’s war, which Mr. Sullivan said “will not end easily or rapidly.”The sanctions on Russian lawmakers, which were reported earlier by The Wall Street Journal, will affect hundreds of members of the State Duma, the lower house of Parliament, according to the official, who requested anonymity to discuss diplomatic deliberations that have not yet been publicly acknowledged.Earlier this month, the United States announced financial sanctions on 12 members of the Duma. The announcement on Thursday will go far beyond those sanctions in what one senior official called a “very sweeping” action. Another official said details of the sanctions were still being finalized.The NATO alliance has already pushed the limits of economic sanctions imposed by European countries, which are dependent on Russian energy. And the alliance has largely exhausted most of its military options — short of a direct confrontation with Russia, which Mr. Biden has said could result in World War III.That leaves the president and his counterparts with a relatively short list of announcements they can deliver on Thursday after three back-to-back, closed-door meetings. Mr. Sullivan said there will be “new designations, new targets” for sanctions inside Russia. And he said the United States would make new announcements about efforts to help European nations wean themselves off Russian energy.Still, the chief goal of the summits — which have come together in just a week’s time through diplomats in dozens of countries — may be a further public declaration that Mr. Putin’s invasion will not lead to sniping and disagreement among the allies.Despite Russia’s intention to “divide and weaken the West,” Mr. Sullivan said, the allies in Europe and elsewhere have remained “more united, more determined and more purposeful than at any point in recent memory.”A damaged residential building in Kyiv, Ukraine, on Friday.Ivor Prickett for The New York TimesSo far, that unity has done little to limit the violence in Ukraine. The United States and Europe have already imposed the broadest array of economic sanctions ever on a country of Russia’s size and wealth, and there have been early signs that loopholes have blunted some of the bite that the sanctions on Russia’s central bank and major financial institutions were intended to have on its economy.Despite speculation that Russia might default on its sovereign debt last week, it was able to make interest payments on $117 million due on two bonds denominated in U.S. dollars. And after initially plunging to record lows this month, the ruble has since stabilized.Russia was able to avert default for now because of an exception built into the sanctions that allowed it to continue making payments in dollars through May 25. That loophole protects foreign investors and gives Russia more time to devastate Ukraine without feeling the full wrath of the sanctions.Meanwhile, although about half of Russia’s $640 billion in foreign reserves is frozen, it has been able to rebuild that by continuing to sell energy to Europe and other places.“The fact that Russia is generating a large trade and current account surplus because of energy exports means that Russia is generating a constant hard currency flow in euros and dollars,” said Robin Brooks, the chief economist at the Institute of International Finance. “If you’re looking at sanctions evasion or the effectiveness of sanctions, this was always a major loophole.”The president is scheduled to depart Washington on Wednesday morning before summits on Thursday with NATO, the Group of 7 nations and the European Council, a meeting of all 27 leaders of European Union countries. On Friday, Mr. Biden will head to Poland, where he will discuss the Ukrainian refugees who have flooded into the country since the start of the war. He will also visit with American troops stationed in Poland as part of NATO forces.Mr. Biden is expected to meet with President Andrzej Duda of Poland on Saturday before returning to the White House later that day.White House officials said a key part of the announcements in Brussels would be new enforcement measures aimed at making sure Russia is not able to evade the intended impact of sanctions.“That announcement will focus not just on adding new sanctions,” Mr. Sullivan said, “but on ensuring that there is a joint effort to crack down on evasion on sanctions-busting, on any attempt by any country to help Russia basically undermine, weaken or get around the sanctions.”He added later, “So stay tuned for that.”Sanctions experts have suggested that Western allies could allow Russian energy exports to continue but insist that payments be held in escrow accounts until Mr. Putin halts the invasion. That would borrow from the playbook the United States used with Iran, when it allowed some oil exports but required the revenue from those transactions to be held in accounts that could be used only to finance bilateral trade.Russia-Ukraine War: Key DevelopmentsCard 1 of 3A new diplomatic push. More

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    Ukraine War and Pandemic Force Nations to Retreat From Globalization

    WASHINGTON — When the Cold War ended, governments and companies believed that stronger global economic ties would lead to greater stability. But the Ukraine war and the pandemic are pushing the world in the opposite direction and upending those ideas.Important parts of the integrated economy are unwinding. American and European officials are now using sanctions to sever major parts of the Russian economy — the 11th largest in the world — from global commerce, and hundreds of Western companies have halted operations in Russia on their own. Amid the pandemic, companies are reorganizing how they obtain their goods because of soaring costs and unpredictable delays in global supply chains.Western officials and executives are also rethinking how they do business with China, the world’s second-largest economy, as geopolitical tensions and the Chinese Communist Party’s human rights abuses and use of advanced technology to reinforce autocratic control make corporate dealings more fraught.The moves reverse core tenets of post-Cold War economic and foreign policies forged by the United States and its allies that were even adopted by rivals like Russia and China.“What we’re headed toward is a more divided world economically that will mirror what is clearly a more divided world politically,” said Edward Alden, a senior fellow at the Council on Foreign Relations. “I don’t think economic integration survives a period of political disintegration.”“Does globalization and economic interdependence reduce conflict?” he added. “I think the answer is yes, until it doesn’t.”Opposition to globalization gained momentum with the Trump administration’s trade policies and “America First” drive, and as the progressive left became more powerful. But the pandemic and President Vladimir V. Putin’s invasion of Ukraine have brought into sharp relief the uncertainty of the existing economic order.President Biden warned President Xi Jinping of China on Friday that there would be “consequences” if Beijing gave material aid to Russia for the war in Ukraine, an implicit threat of sanctions. China has criticized sanctions on Russia, and Le Yucheng, the vice foreign minister, said in a speech on Saturday that “globalization should not be weaponized.” Yet China increasingly has imposed economic punishments — Lithuania, Norway, Australia, Japan and South Korea have been among the targets.The result of all the disruptions may well be a fracturing of the world into economic blocs, as countries and companies gravitate to ideological corners with distinct markets and pools of labor, as they did in much of the 20th century.Mr. Biden already frames his foreign policy in ideological terms, as a mission of unifying democracies against autocracies. Mr. Biden also says he is enacting a foreign policy for middle-class Americans, and central to that is getting companies to move critical supply chains and manufacturing out of China.The goal is given urgency by the hobbling of those global links over two years of the pandemic, which has brought about a realization among the world’s most powerful companies that they need to focus on not just efficiency and cost, but also resiliency. This month, lockdowns China imposed to contain Covid-19 outbreaks have once again threatened to stall global supply chains.The Chinese city of Shenzhen was shut down due to Covid concerns last week, threatening the global supply chain.Kin Cheung/Associated PressThe economic impact of such a change is highly uncertain. The emergence of new economic blocs could accelerate a massive reorganization in financial flows and supply chains, potentially slowing growth, leading to some shortages and raising prices for consumers in the short term. But the longer-term effects on global growth, worker wages and supplies of goods are harder to assess.The war has set in motion “deglobalization forces that could have profound and unpredictable effects,” said Laurence Boone, the chief economist of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development.For decades, executives have pushed for globalization to expand their markets and to exploit cheap labor and lax environmental standards. China especially has benefited from this, while Russia profits from its exports of minerals and energy. They tap into enormous economies: The Group of 7 industrialized nations make up more than 50 percent of the global economy, while China and Russia together account for about 20 percent.Trade and business ties between the United States and China are still robust, despite steadily worsening relations. But with the new Western sanctions on Russia, many nations that are not staunch partners of America are now more aware of the perils of being economically tied to the United States and its allies.If Mr. Xi and Mr. Putin organize their own economic coalition, they could bring in other nations seeking to shield themselves from Western sanctions — a tool that all recent U.S. presidents have used.“Your interdependence can be weaponized against you,” said Dani Rodrik, a professor of international political economy at Harvard Kennedy School. “That’s a lesson that I imagine many countries are beginning to internalize.”The Ukraine war, he added, has “probably put a nail in the coffin of hyperglobalization.”China and, increasingly, Russia have taken steps to wall off their societies, including erecting strict censorship mechanisms on their internet networks, which have cut off their citizens from foreign perspectives and some commerce. China is on a drive to make critical industries self-sufficient, including for technologies like semiconductors.And China has been in talks with Saudi Arabia to pay for some oil purchases in China’s currency, the renminbi, The Wall Street Journal reported; Russia was in similar discussions with India. The efforts show a desire by those governments to move away from dollar-based transactions, a foundation of American global economic power.For decades, prominent U.S. officials and strategists asserted that a globalized economy was a pillar of what they call the rules-based international order, and that trade and financial ties would prevent major powers from going to war. The United States helped usher China into the World Trade Organization in 2001 in a bid to bring its economic behavior — and, some officials hoped, its political system — more in line with the West. Russia joined the organization in 2012.But Mr. Putin’s war and China’s recent aggressive actions in Asia have challenged those notions.“The whole idea of the liberal international order was that economic interdependence would prevent conflict of this kind,” said Alina Polyakova, president of the Center for European Policy Analysis, a research group in Washington. “If you tie yourselves to each other, which was the European model after the Second World War, the disincentives would be so painful if you went to war that no one in their right mind would do it. Well, we’ve seen now that has proven to be false.”“Putin’s actions have shown us that might have been the world we’ve been living in, but that’s not the world he or China have been living in,” she said.The United States and its partners have blocked Russia from much of the international financial system by banning transactions with the Russian central bank. They have also cut Russia off from the global bank messaging system called SWIFT, frozen the assets of Russian leaders and oligarchs, and banned the export from the United States and other nations of advanced technology to Russia. Russia has answered with its own export bans on food, cars and timber.The penalties can lead to odd decouplings: British and European sanctions on Roman Abramovich, the Russian oligarch who owns the Chelsea soccer team in Britain, prevent the club from selling tickets or merchandise.Ticket sales for Chelsea Football Club games were stopped after Britain and the European Union imposed sanctions on the club’s owner, Roman Abramovich, a Putin ally. Andy Rain/EPA, via ShutterstockAbout 400 companies have chosen to suspend or withdraw operations from Russia, including iconic brands of global consumerism such as Apple, Ikea and Rolex.Russia-Ukraine War: Key DevelopmentsCard 1 of 4Russia’s shrinking force. More

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    Exports to Russia Blocked by U.S. and Its Allies

    To try to halt the war in Ukraine, the U.S. and its allies have imposed the most sweeping export controls seen in decades on Russia. Now they have to enforce them.WASHINGTON — The United States, in partnership with its allies, has hit Russia with some of the most sweeping export restrictions ever imposed, barring companies across the world from sending advanced technology in order to penalize President Vladimir V. Putin for his invasion of Ukraine.The restrictions are aimed at cutting off the flow of semiconductors, aircraft components and other technologies that are crucial to Russia’s defense, maritime and aerospace industries, in a bid to cripple Mr. Putin’s ability to wage war. But the extent to which the measures hinder Russia’s abilities will depend on whether companies around the globe follow the rules.Enforcing the new restrictions poses a significant challenge as governments try to police thousands of companies. But the task could be made easier because the United States is acting in concert with so many other countries.The European Union, Japan, Australia, Canada, New Zealand, Britain and South Korea have joined the United States in imposing their own restrictions. And governments including Singapore and Taiwan, a major global producer of semiconductors, have indicated they will support the rules.“Because we have the full cooperation and alignment with so many countries, it makes enforcement a lot easier,” Gina Raimondo, the U.S. secretary of commerce, said in an interview. “Every country is going to be doing enforcement.”“That’s part of the power, if you will, of having so much collaboration,” she added.Officials from the Commerce Department, which is in charge of enforcing the U.S. rules, have already begun digging through shipping containers and detaining electronics, aircraft parts and other goods that are destined for Russia. On March 2, federal agents detained two speedboats at the Port of Charleston valued at $150,000 that were being exported to Russia, according to senior U.S. officials.To look for any potential violators, federal agents will be combing through tips from industry sources and working with Customs and Border Protection to find anomalies in export data that might point to shipments to Russia. They are also reaching out to known exporters to Russia to get them on board with the new restrictions, speaking to about 20 or 30 companies a day, U.S. officials said.Their efforts extend beyond U.S. borders. On March 3, Commerce Department officials spoke to a gathering of 300 businesspeople in Beijing about how to comply with the new restrictions. U.S. officials have also been coordinating with other governments to ensure that they are taking a tough stance on enforcement, senior U.S. officials said.Emily Kilcrease, director of the Energy, Economics and Security Program at the Center for a New American Security, said that the level of allied cooperation in forging the export controls was “completely unprecedented,” and that international coordination would have an important upside.“The allied countries will be active partners in enforcement efforts, rather than the United States attempting to enforce its own unilateral rules extraterritorially,” she said.It remains to be seen how effective the rules are in degrading Russia’s military capability or dissuading its aggression against Ukraine. But in their initial form, the broad scope of the measures looks like a victory for the multilateralism that President Biden promised to restore.Mr. Biden entered office pledging to mend ties with Europe and other allies that had been alienated by former President Donald J. Trump’s “America first” approach. A key part of the argument was that the United States could exert more pressure on countries like China when it was not acting alone.That approach has been particularly important for export controls, which experts argue can do more harm than good when imposed by only one country — a criticism that was sometimes leveled at the export controls the Trump administration issued on China.“Because we have the full cooperation and alignment with so many countries, it makes enforcement a lot easier,” Commerce Secretary Gina Raimondo said.Doug Mills/The New York TimesThe Russian invasion of Ukraine has unified Western governments like few issues before. But even with countries eager to penalize Russia, coordinating restrictions on a vast array of complex technologies among more than 30 governments was not simple. The Commerce Department held more than 50 discussions with officials from other countries between the end of January and Feb. 24, when the controls were announced, as they hashed out the details, senior U.S. officials said.Much of that effort fell to Matthew S. Borman, a three-decade employee of the Commerce Department, who in late January began near-daily conversations with the European Commission and other countries.In mid-February, Mr. Borman and a senior aerospace engineer flew to Brussels for meetings with Peter Sandler, the European director general of trade, and other staff. As a “freedom convoy” protesting coronavirus restrictions attempted to roll into Brussels, they worked from early in the morning until late in the night amid reams of paper and spreadsheets of complex technological descriptions.Each country had its own byzantine regulations, and its own interests, to consider. The European Commission had to consult the European Union’s 27 member countries, especially tech powers like Germany, France, the Netherlands and Finland, on which products could be cut off. Officials debated whether to crack down on the Russian oil industry, at a time of soaring gas prices and inflation.As Russia’s neighbors, the Europeans wanted to ensure that Russia still had access to certain goods for public safety, like nuclear reactor components to avoid a Chernobyl-style meltdown. At least one country insisted that auto exports to Russia should continue, a senior administration official said.The breakthrough came when American officials offered a compromise. The Biden administration planned to issue a rule that would bar companies anywhere around the world from exporting certain products to Russia if they were made using American technology. But those measures would not apply in countries that joined the United States and Europe in issuing their own technological restrictions on Russia.In an interview, Mr. Borman said that American allies had historically been concerned with the extraterritorial reach of U.S. export controls, and that the exclusions for countries that imposed their own rules “was really the key piece.”The Russia-Ukraine War and the Global EconomyCard 1 of 6Rising concerns. More