IMGL Magazine April 2022

War in Europe

its wealthy elite whilst providing non-lethal military support to Ukraine. The threat of chemical weapon deployment and the discovery of attrocities has seen a further ratcheting up of sanctions and the promise of more military support for Ukraine. World leaders have been at pains to say that these actions will come at a cost. Here we summarize the main strategies, consider their impact in Russia and elsewhere, their likely effectiveness in ending hostilities and the inevitable fallout for the gaming sector. Financial sanctions The invasion on February 24th brought a swift response in the financial markets with the rouble plunging by over 40 percent at one point to 119 to the US dollar. In response, the Russian Central Bank raised interest rates to 20 percent and brought in regulations preventing companies and individuals transferring money abroad. Outside the country, financial sanctions against the

Russian state, Russian banks and key individuals have taken several forms. At the state level the US, EU and other G7 countries have moved to block Russian access to the World Trade Organization, World Bank and International Monetary Fund. This curtails Russia’s ability to trade internationally and cuts its access to borrowing impacting the medium- term viability of its economy. Measures to exclude Russia and numerous Russian-owned financial institutions from the Society for Worldwide International Financial Telecommunication (SWIFT) system together with unilateral actions taken by HSBC, VISA, Mastercard, American Express and others have made it harder for money to be transferred internationally between Russia and many of its main trading partners. Russia has its own SWIFT equivalent, the Sistema Peredachi Finansovykh Soobscheniy (SPFS). This was developed after 2014 in response to the threat of expulsion from SWIFT following Russia’s annexation of Crimea. It and other contingencies are likely to mean the move is less catastrophic than it might have been. Russian banks’ overseas operations are being shuttered, however, in

Dilbar, the super yacht worth $600m belonging to Alisher Usmanov has been impounded

8 • IMGL Magazine • April 2022

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