A Headache to Banks, Novel U.S. Sanctions May Be Hint of What’s to Come

By Colby Adams and Brian Orsak

Two new approaches to sanctions targeting Russia are unlikely to be the last innovations to how the United States leverages its financial power, even if such restrictions strain compliance departments. The approaches-broad sanctions against Russia's defense, energy and financial sectors, and limits to credit issued to Russian banks-could signal a willingness on the part of U.S. officials to expand their range of economic levers much as the military evolves its tools, said Peter Harrell, the U.S. State Department deputy assistant secretary for counter-threat finance and sanctions. "Innovations such as the capital market restrictions or the [Sectoral Sanctions Identifications List], while...