US beefs up Russia sanctions on Ukraine invasion anniversary
February 25, 2023 09:37 AM
The United States on Friday announced sweeping sanctions aimed at increasing economic pain for Russia over its invasion of Ukraine and sharpening efforts to crack down on Moscow's ability to evade existing restrictions.
The White House said the latest measures against Russia were rolled out "in coordination with G7 partners and allies," while Britain announced their sanctions in a statement as well, with the EU also expected to do so after working through last minute objections by Poland.
The G7 countries, which were holding a virtual summit on Friday to mark the one-year anniversary of Russia launching its invasion of Ukraine, will also announce a new body known as the Enforcement Coordination Mechanism to block attempts at circumventing existing sanctions.
The body will be chaired by the United States in its first year, the White House said.
Washington’s new sanctions, which target sectors including banks, mining and the defense industry, will hit "over 200 individuals and entities, including both Russian and third-country actors across Europe, Asia, and the Middle East that are supporting Russia's war effort," the White House said.
Among those subject to new sanctions -- which come on top of multiple layers of previous measures imposed over the last 12 months -- will be "a dozen Russian financial institutions, in alignment with allies and partners, as well as Russian officials and proxy authorities illegitimately operating in Ukraine."
The White House said it was hitting Russia's defense and high-tech sectors, including a crackdown on efforts to evade existing sanctions.
The US Treasury office said this included a crackdown on about 30 individuals or companies serving as middlemen, several based in Switzerland, accused of helping resupply the Russian war effort with crucial technologies.
Additional Russian companies still trying to supply the advanced technologies to operate Russia's weapons were also hit.
"Our actions today with our G7 partners show that we will stand with Ukraine for as long as it takes," said US Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen.
The sanctions also went deeper into Russia's already heavily sanctioned financial sector, as well as the country's crucial mining and mineral sector.
The US Department of Commerce would be imposing export controls on nearly 90 Russian and third country companies, including in China, "for engaging in sanction evasion and backfill activities in support of Russia's defense sector," the White House said.
Targeted companies will be banned from "purchasing items, such as semiconductors, whether made in the US or with certain US technology or software abroad."
Also in the crosshairs for economic penalties is the Russian metals and mining sector.
"Today’s action will result in increased tariffs on more than 100 Russian metals, minerals, and chemical products worth approximately $2.8 billion to Russia. It will also significantly increase costs for aluminum that was smelted or cast in Russia to enter the US market," the White House said.
The measure will "counter harm" that has been caused to US producers by Russia's invasion, the White House said.