Treasury Aims for Economic Pain on Russia, but Critics Question Effectiveness
WASHINGTON — When Russia imposed retaliatory sanctions on top American officials last month, its government targeted President Biden and his top national security advisers, along with Wally Adeyemo, the deputy Treasury secretary, whose agency has been crafting the punitive measures aimed at crippling Russia’s economy.
Russia’s move, while wholly symbolic, underscored the central role that the Treasury Department has been playing in designing and enforcing the most expansive financial restrictions that the United States has ever imposed on a major economic power.
Those restrictions amount to an economic war against Russia, which is entering a critical phase as the toll of fighting in Ukraine continues to escalate and as the Russian government attempts to find ways to evade or mitigate fallout from Western sanctions.
In an attempt to prevent Russia from skirting the penalties, Mr. Adeyemo, a 40-year-old former Obama administration…