This week saw the introduction of a new phenomenon in international relations: canceling an entire country.
Two weeks ago, Russia was a normal and minor player in the international financial system and global economy. Its central bank had reserves in global currencies, its commodities traded on exchanges in London and were delivered into ports in the Gulf of Mexico and Hawaii, and pension funds for public sector workers in places like Connecticut owned bonds issued by the Russian government.
Not any more. There have been a host of government sanctions imposed on Russia, including restrictions on technology imports, restrictions on its major banks, and limits on its central bank access to foreign reserves that it could use to defend its currency. But even more strikingly, Russia has largely been rejected by much of the private sector in a series of moves that some are calling “self-sanctioning.”
Chevron and Exxon Mobil announced they were getting out of ventures in Russia. BP said it plans to exit its near 20 percent stake in Rosneft, said to be worth $25 billion. Boeing has said it will not service planes owned by Russian airlines. Walt Disney and Warner Brothers are not releasing their newest films in Russia. Apple has turned off its App store and paused sales in Russia. The World Bank has suspended all operations. General Motors said it would stop exporting cars to Russia. Ford suspended its joint-venture in Russia.