US unveils new sanctions against Russia and puts in place a ban on new imports of Russian gold
In a statement, the US Treasury Department announced sanctions against 70 entities, including State Corporation Rostec – “a huge Russian state enterprise created to consolidate Russia’s technological, aerospace and military-industrial expertise – and its major holdings and affiliates. , as well as 29 Russian individuals.
Rachel Rizzo, a senior fellow at the Atlantic Council’s European Center, told CNN the imposition of sanctions on Rostec was significant, noting that it “fundamentally forms the bedrock of Russia’s defense industrial base.”
“It’s a huge state-owned enterprise and it involves different sections in technology, aerospace and military industrial expertise,” she said. “Subsidiaries of the company, they are basically engaged in a very wide range of different industries, like automotive, defense and metals.
“If we can cut off their ability to export, import, sell, buy in these different sectors that then help Russia finance and continue to wage war on Ukraine, that greatly diminishes Russia’s ability to do so.” , said Rizzo.
However, she noted that she does not believe “any of the sanctions we are implementing are intended to deter Russia in the very short term.”
“I don’t think it’s aimed at cutting Russia off from its defense industrial base today or tomorrow or next week, but in the long term it will certainly have an effect and I think that’s how the United States- United and their allies are thinking about those,” she said.
The Treasury Department renamed the so-called Donetsk People’s Republic (DNR) and the Lugansk People’s Republic (LNR) — two pro-Russian breakaway regions of Ukraine recognized as independent by Moscow — and sanctioned Vitaliy Pavlovich Khotsenko , who is “the newly appointed president of the so-called DNR government“, and six people who “are or have been senior officials of the so-called DNR and LNR governments”.
In a separate statement Tuesday, Secretary of State Antony Blinken announced that the State Department was imposing sanctions on 45 entities and 29 individuals, and was preparing to impose visa restrictions “on 511 Russian military officers for threatening or violated the sovereignty, territorial integrity or political independence of Ukraine, in connection with Russia’s unprovoked and unjustified war against Ukraine” and “on 18 Russian nationals in connection with the suppression of dissent, including politically motivated detentions”.
Among those sanctioned by the State Department were 19 Rostec board members, nine of their spouses or adult children, and Halyna Danylchenko, “the illegitimate Russian-installed ‘mayor’ of Melitopol,” who, according to the State Department, “was installed by Russia following the kidnapping of the democratically elected mayor of Melitopol.” The State Department also sanctioned Uzbekistan-based Promcomplektlogistic Private Company for doing business with a sanctioned Russian entity.
“The Department of State also designates Russian military units that have been credibly implicated in human rights abuses or violations of international humanitarian law as part of our commitment to promote accountability for atrocities in Ukraine. “, Blinken said in his statement.
According to a State Department fact sheet, sanctioned units include the 76th Guards Air Assault Division and its subordinate, the 234th Guards Airborne Assault Regiment, and the 64th Separate Motorized Rifle Brigade.
“In March 2022, the Russian 76th Guards Air Assault Division and its 234th Guards Airborne Assault Regiment camped in Bucha, Yablunska Street in Ukraine, which has become the epicenter of violence against the civilians and other human rights violations in Bucha,” the fact sheet states. “The images of dead civilians along Yablunska Street are etched in our global memory and will not be forgotten.”
The State Department also sanctioned Russia’s Federal Security Service (FSB) for its role in wartime human rights abuses, including its reported involvement in so-called filter camps in Russia.
The devastating set of sanctions imposed by the West on Russia have taken their toll – on Monday the country defaulted on its foreign debt for the first time since the Bolshevik Revolution more than a century ago. The White House said the default showed the power of Western sanctions imposed on Russia since it invaded Ukraine.
At the same time, the sanctions have inflicted suffering on Americans due to rising gas prices, the effect of global import bans on Russian energy. Targeting Russian energy has been a point of contention since the start of the war. And the complexities of going after one of the biggest producers in the world were confirmed in the following months. While Americans and Europeans suffer from high gas prices, Moscow continues to earn massive revenues from its oil exports, in part because of soaring prices.
A plan by US Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen seeks to reverse this trend. In recent months, she has pressed G7 countries to apply a price cap on Russian oil, limiting the amount of money Russia earns from places it still exports.
Leaders agreed to the idea at the summit this week. But the precise mechanism for doing so remains undecided. Officials said they were confident Western countries had enough leverage through their transmission and distribution networks to enforce the caps.
This story has been updated with additional reports.