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WASHINGTON (AP) — The White House and U.S. officials have threatened Russia with financial sanctions that carry “serious consequences” if it invades Ukraine, but so far many persons have been the main targets of Western pain.

Experts say the United States and its allies are unlikely to agree to something as sweeping as an outright ban on trade with Russia or an embargo. Rather, industries and individuals will likely continue to bear the brunt of sanctions as the crisis deepens.

The Kremlin has ignored the sanctions imposed by the United States and its allies against Russian officials and business leaders. Spokesman Dmitry Peskov said last week that members of Congress seem unaware that Russian law prohibits officials from holding assets abroad.

The US contends that targets lose substantial income and asset value due to financial sanctions that could curb, for example, an oligarch’s purchases and investments.

Geopolitics, Europe’s reliance on Russian natural gas, and Russia’s sheer size are among the reasons preventing the US from subjecting Moscow to a broader embargo similar to that seen on Cuba, North Korea, and Iran.

A look at how and why the West might choose to apply sanctions to specific people or industries in Russia instead of making it bigger:

Why go after individuals instead of organizations?

Sometimes the narrower jab is meant to avoid inflicting unwanted pain on ordinary people or provoking action that will reverberate in Western interests.

a recent Congressional Research Service Report he said the United States and the European Union aim to impose sanctions “in a way that can cause Russia to change its behavior and minimize collateral damage to the Russian people and to the economic interests of the countries imposing the sanctions.”

Germany’s leaders have promised that the future of the new Nord Stream 2 pipeline would be “on the table” if Russia acts against Ukraine. The pipeline was built to bring natural gas from Russia directly to Germany, bypassing Ukraine. Blocking it would hurt Russia’s gas exports in a crucial market.

Who are the people they target?

According to the CRS, several Russian billionaires with political connections and their companies are targeted for sanctions. The Treasury Department’s foreign asset enforcement arm has cited at least 445 individuals and companies as “specially designated nationals and blocked persons.” These are largely related to the destabilization of Ukraine, the misappropriation of assets and operations in Crimea, the Black Sea peninsula that Russia seized from Ukraine.

Among the targets are government officials and heads of state-owned companies, including Russia’s interior minister, the directors of foreign intelligence and the federal prison service, and the speakers of both houses of parliament. The CEOs of state-owned oil and gas companies Rosneft and Gazprom, the defense company Rostec and several banks could also expect sanctions.

What kind of sanctions has the US imposed on the Russians in the past?

Western sanctions issued when Russia invaded and annexed Crimea in 2014 included limits on trade, the blocking of assets under US jurisdiction, and limits on access to the US financial system, which stand to this day at least 735 individualsentities and vessels, according to the Office of Foreign Assets Control.

In the last year, the United States has applied additional sanctions.

This month, the US Treasury sanctioned four people, two of them members of the Ukrainian parliament, allegedly involved in Russian government-led activities aimed at destabilizing Ukraine. Last April, 16 individuals and entities were sanctioned for what Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen called “the beginning of a new US campaign against Russia’s malign behavior.”

White House press secretary Jen Psaki recently warned that Russian President Vladimir Putin and his top officials could incur personal sanctions “far beyond what was done in 2014” because of Crimea.

How effective are sanctions for individuals?

Personal sanctions are not as effective as those for industries, which the administration is also considering. But they can inflict psychological pain and turn their targets into international outcasts. For example, some Republicans in Congress want the United States to consider sanctioning Alina Kabaeva, an Olympic gold medalist in rhythmic gymnastics who is reportedly Putin’s girlfriend.

Assets owned by Putin himself are difficult to attack.

“His wealth is hidden all over the world and tracking down those things is not easy. But it will make your life more difficult,” said Scheherazade Rehman, a professor of international business and international affairs at George Washington University.

Asked last week if Biden was keeping the door open for personal sanctions against Putin if Russia invades Ukraine, Peskov warned that such a move would be “politically destructive” to Russia’s ties with the US.

US sanctions on Russia can have broad economic effects if applied to economically significant targets, and some programs do so by targeting both individuals and companies and by prohibiting certain types of transactions.

What other types of sanctions are in the US toolkit?

Various federal agencies may also play a role in enforcing sanctions or limiting business activity. The Department of State can restrict visas and foreign aid, and the Department of Commerce can restrict licenses for commercial exports. The Department of Defense can restrict the sale of weapons and the Department of Justice can prosecute those who violate export laws. Additionally, the Department of Homeland Security and the FBI may review visas issued for travel to the United States.

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