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U.S. Issues New Sanctions Against Russia

The U.S. late last week unveiled its most comprehensive package of sanctions against Russia since the latter’s invasion of Ukraine two years ago, according to Bloomberg Government (subscription). 

What’s going on: The new measures—undertaken following the death of outspoken Putin critic Alexei Navalny in a Russian penal colony earlier this month—“target more than 500 people and entities … includ[ing] Russia’s Mir payment system, a major oil-shipping company and three people linked to Navalny’s death … among many other targets.”

  • The list does not include the Russian metals sector or major sanctions against the energy industry.
  • The latest round of sanctions comes on top of multiple others imposed by the U.S. and the European Union in the past two years “in a complementary bid to punish Putin and crimp his forces’ ability to wage war.”

The details: Specific sanction targets include Russia’s two biggest banks “and almost 90 financial institution subsidiaries around the world,” according to the Treasury Department.

  • They also comprise “additional Russian elites and their family members” and “new prohibitions related to new debt and equity of major Russian state-owned enterprises and large privately owned financial institutions.”
  • The Office of Foreign Assets Control at the Treasury Department maintains a Ukraine-/Russia-related sanctions website with fact sheets and additional information about the specific sanctions imposed.

Why it’s important: These sanctions “attempt to go further” than past ones, according to The New York Times (subscription), “focusing on key cogs in Russia’s financial system, digging deeper into its military supply chain and going after enablers in other countries like China and the United Arab Emirates.”

  • A bill to send $60 billion in weapons and munitions aid to Ukraine is stalled in the House of Representatives, and Ukrainian troops are “short of the shells they need to hold off Putin’s forces,” according to Bloomberg Government.
  • The EU revealed another tranche of sanctions against Russia last week, too, the Times reports.
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