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US expands sanctions against Russia

The new measures target companies in countries such as China in a bid to “discourage” trade with Moscow

U.S. Secretary of the Treasury Janet Yellen. ©  Anna Moneymaker/Getty Images

The US Departments of State and Treasury on Wednesday sanctioned 300 additional individuals and entities in Russia and elsewhere, which it accuses of having links to Moscow’s “war economy.”

According to the Treasury Department, the latest measures target individuals and companies suspected of enabling Moscow to evade the Western embargo.

“Today’s actions strike at their remaining avenues for international materials and equipment, including their reliance on critical supplies from third countries,” said Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen.

Wednesday’s measures target more than $100 million in trade between Russia and its foreign partners. Companies and individuals in China, Kyrgyzstan, and Türkiye made the sanctions list, with the US going after targets in east and central Asia, Africa, the Middle East, and the Caribbean, the Treasury Department claims.

“We are increasing the risk for financial institutions dealing with Russia’s war economy and eliminating paths for evasion, and diminishing Russia’s ability to benefit from access to foreign technology, equipment, software, and IT services.”

The two departments have issued a new interpretation of existing executive orders that prohibit US citizens from providing anyone in Russia with “IT consultancy and design services,” as well as “IT support services and cloud-based services for enterprise management software and design and manufacturing software.”

READ MORE: China won’t accept US ‘blackmail’ – Kremlin

The Department of Treasury has also redefined Russia’s military-industrial base to include all persons sanctioned under Executive Order 14024 – including Sberbank and VTB – meaning that third-country financial institutions “risk being sanctioned for conducting or facilitating significant transactions, or providing any service” to them.

Washington has sanctioned more than 4,000 Russian individuals and companies since February 2022, aiming to harm the country’s military efforts against Kiev. The move by the US comes before the G7 summit in Italy, where Washington had hoped to announce progress on the confiscation of frozen Russian sovereign assets. However, the US and its EU allies have reportedly been unable to agree on the next step.

Moscow “will not leave the aggressive actions of the US unanswered,” Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova said in response to Washington’s announcement.

Meanwhile, the Moscow Stock Exchange has announced that it will not conduct trading in US dollars and euros from Thursday due to the new US sanctions.

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