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27 Jun, 2022 17:10

US unveils new sanctions against Russia

Washington and other G7 capitals will target defense industry supply chains, the White House has announced
US unveils new sanctions against Russia

The US and other G7 members are about to impose restrictions on “hundreds of individuals and entities” as part of its new round of sanctions on Russia, the White House announced on Monday. The measures will target Moscow’s military-industrial complex to deprive it of key technologies, a statement said.

The leading Western economies – the US, UK, France, Germany, Italy, Canada, and Japan – will “aggressively target” Russia’s major state-owned defense enterprises, defense research institutions, and other “defense-related” entities with “blocking sanctions,” the White House outlined. The goal of the restrictions is to sap the Russian defense industry of “critical components” and limit its ability to replace equipment it loses in the conflict with Kiev, it added.

Western nations will continue to “restrict Russia’s access to key industrial inputs, services, and technologies produced by our economies,” the White House said, adding that the effects of the measures will become more visible “over time.”

Washington has not named any specific entities or individuals that will face restrictions as part of the new sanctions. It only said it plans to put a total of 500 Russian officials on its blacklist for “exercising illegitimate authority” and committing “human rights abuses.”

The G7 nations will also impose restrictions on foreign companies engaged in “backfill activities” and helping Russia evade sanctions.

Additional measures announced by Washington include higher tariffs on “on more than 570 groups of Russian products worth approximately $2.3 billion to Russia.” The measures were “carefully calibrated” to hurt the Russian economy and spare that of the US, the statement said. Additional revenues obtained through the new tariffs might be used to support Ukraine, the White House said.

On Sunday, the US, UK, Canada, and Japan announced an embargo on Russian gold. At the G7 level, the initiative faced resistance from Germany, which said decisions such as this should be made by the EU first.

The US and its allies in Europe and elsewhere have already introduced sweeping sanctions on Russia over its military operation in Ukraine, including restrictions targeting the banking and finance sectors, and personal restrictions on officials and businessmen considered to be close to the Kremlin. Russian banks have also been disconnected from the SWIFT system.

The US and Canada announced an embargo on Russia oil soon after the military operation began in late February. The EU followed suit in May, following weeks of debates. Some nations within the bloc were granted a waiver.

The sanctions drive has faced resistance from some Western nations, such as Hungary, which has said the measures will only hurt the West without significantly impacting Russia. The US acknowledged in early June that Russia’s revenues from fossil fuels soared this spring despite the sanctions.

In mid-May, Bloomberg reported that Russia’s oil revenues jumped around 50% since the beginning of 2022, as Moscow rerouted exports to the Asia-Pacific region. Russia’s oil exports to India increased by 25 times in May, according to Reuters.