U.S. Imposes New Sanctions Against Russia As War Drags On
The U.S. announced a fresh wave of sanctions against Russia’s military intelligence and defence industry.
(Bloomberg) -- The US announced a fresh wave of sanctions against Russia’s military intelligence and defense industry, as well as people accused of stealing Ukrainian crops, in a new push to restrict President Vladimir Putin’s ability to wage war.
The State Department sanctioned 31 defense, technology and electronics entities, while the Treasury Department imposed restrictions of 22 officials, including people who have “overseen the seizure or theft of hundreds of thousands of tons of Ukrainian grain,” Secretary of State Antony Blinken said in a statement.
“Those designated today — from perpetrators of violence to an official facilitating the purposeful removal of children from Ukraine — provide examples of the behavior that has become synonymous with the government of Russia’s unprovoked war,” Blinken said.
Thursday’s sanctions also included Commerce Department export controls on items Belarus and Russia might be able to use for biological or chemical weapons, Blinken said. The US also imposed new sanctions on Russia’s Main Intelligence Directorate, which it said was involved in forced deportations and separating Ukrainian children from their parents.
Ukrainian officials have repeatedly accused Russia of stealing Ukrainian grain. In July, data suggested that the Russian-occupied peninsula of Crimea was shipping more than 50 times the volume it usually did at that time of year, suggesting seized grain was being sent abroad.
Thursday’s actions amounted to one of the more wide-ranging sanctions actions the US and its allies have announced in recent months. Although it was likely months in the making, it coincides with a broad Ukrainian counteroffensive that’s seen its forces retake territory previously seized by Russia.
Publicly, Russian officials have said the economic hit from sanctions has been less than feared, with the contraction possibly less than 3% this year and even less in 2023. But private assessments suggest Russia may face a longer and deeper recession than top officials are letting on, and western allies say sanctions are an important way to weaken Russia’s ambitions in Ukraine.
(Updates with sanctions on Russian intelligence. A previous version of this story corrected “Russian” to “Ukrainian” in 5th paragraph.)
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