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U.S. Imposes Major New Sanctions on Russia, Targeting Finance and Defense

In reaction to Aleksei A. Navalny’s passing, the Biden administration unveiled its most extensive set of sanctions to yet as the situation in Ukraine nears its third year.  

US Imposes Broad Sanctions on Russia 

The US imposed the most extensive sanctions on Russia since the invasion of Ukraine two years ago on Friday, hoping to undermine the Kremlin’s military machine. The financial sector of the nation as well as the military-industrial complex are the targets of the punishments.The wide-ranging penalties come exactly one week after the death of opposition leader Aleksei A. Navalny, for which the Biden administration holds Russian President Vladimir V. Putin accountable. The third year of the conflict is about to begin. In order to prevent Russia from resupplying military gear and to put pressure on its economy, the US is relying more and more on financial measures as Congress struggles to reach an agreement on increasing aid to Ukraine.  

Biden Administration’s Response to Navalny’s Death 

When he announced the sanctions on Friday, President Biden pleaded with Congress to provide Ukraine with extra funding before it’s too late. He issued a warning in a statement, saying, “The failure to support Ukraine at this critical moment will not be forgotten.” The president continued by saying that Russia’s oil earnings will be severely limited by the sanctions, and that attempts to avoid them on multiple continents will be punished. “Putin will not stop if he does not pay the price for his demise and destruction,” Biden stated. “And the costs will go up for the United States and our partners and allies in NATO in Europe and beyond.”  

Impact of Sanctions on Russia’s Economy and Military 

The most recent sanctions target approximately 500 individuals and organisations associated with Russia’s aggression against Ukraine. The Treasury, State, and Commerce departments each created a measure that is included in the sanctions package.The Biden administration has also imposed sanctions on three members of the Russian authorities who were involved in Mr. Navalny’s demise.”Russia’s economy and military-industrial base are showing clear signs of weakness in part due to the actions we, along with our partners and allies around the world, have taken to support Ukraine’s brave defence,” said Treasury Secretary Janet L. Yellen in a statement. “Putin has pledged the Russian people’s present and future as collateral for his own goals of annexing Ukraine.”  

Evolution of US Efforts to Counter Russian Aggression 

Over the past two years, the United States and its allies in the Group of Seven have collaborated to cap the price at which Russian oil can be sold on international markets, freeze assets worth hundreds of billions of dollars held by the Russian central bank, and impose trade restrictions in an attempt to obstruct Russia’s military supply of technology and equipment. The steps announced on Friday are intended to go a step further, focusing on key elements of Russia’s banking system, scrutinising its military supply chain more closely, and identifying middlemen in other countries such as China and the United Arab Emirates.  

Targeting Key Industries: SUEK, Mechel, and More 

Two of Russia’s largest industries in terms of revenue generation are the targets of the sanctions: SUEK and Mechel. SUEK provides logistical and transportation services to the Russian military, and Mechel is a major producer of specialty steels. The measures, which also target the nation’s banking sector, include penalties for the National Payment Card System joint stock organisation, which manages the national payment system in Russia. In an effort to slow Russia down, the Biden administration also took aim at the country’s major weapons industries. In addition to batteries, ball bearings, robotics, and lubricants utilised by the Russian military, these businesses are also the targets of the sanctions imposed on Friday.  

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