US unveils new sanctions against Russia and implements ban on new Russian gold imports

The moves are the latest in response to Russia’s months-long war in Ukraine and were taken after G7 leaders in Germany agreed to measures including a gold import ban, intended to weaken Moscow.

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.

The Treasury Department renamed the so-called Donetsk People’s Republic (DNR) and the Luhansk 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”.

According to the Treasury statement, the US State Department imposes sanctions on 45 entities and 29 individuals.

“The State Department’s action includes the designation of Russian Federation military units and the redesignation of the Federal Security Service (FSB) of Russia, which have been credibly implicated in human rights abuses. rights or violations of international humanitarian law in Ukraine,” the Treasury statement said. .

The State Department will also “impose visa restrictions on officials believed to have threatened or violated the sovereignty, territorial integrity, or political independence of Ukraine, including more than 500 Russian military officers. of Russia and Russian Federation officials involved in the suppression of dissent,” he added. said.

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 is a breaking story and will be updated.


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