I understand the economic sanctions, but what is meant by "personally sanctioning" another nation's president?

I see many news outlets mentioning this but never explaining what it entails, e.g.

1 Answer 1


Personal sanctions can include limits on individuals' travel ("you can't enter our country"), finances (freezing personal bank accounts, blocking ownership or trade of securities, etc), and broader business (forbidding businesses from trade with specific individuals or companies they own).

See for example reports about sanctions over Crimea in 2014 or in response to the broader Ukraine invasion; quoting from the latter (bold mine):

Denis Bortnikov and Vladimir Kiriyenko, both designated for individual sanctions by the Treasury Department on Tuesday, hold their own prominent positions in Russian business. But both will now have any US-held assets frozen and be barred from dealing with any US persons solely because their fathers serve as Putin's domestic intelligence chief and as one of Putin's closest advisers, respectively

See also this "explainer" from the AP on the purpose of individual sanctions (and some of the limitations):

limits on trade, the blocking of assets under American jurisdiction and limits on access to the U.S. financial system

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