US unveils additional sanctions targeting Russian media, funding and elites

The United States, the European Union and the Group of Seven countries will impose additional sanctions on Russia targeting the country’s media, elites and state-controlled services that help finance the war in Ukraine, said a senior Biden administration official on Sunday.

The announcement came as Biden virtually met with G-7 leaders and Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy to reinforce their shared commitment to strengthening the war-torn country’s position on the battlefield and at the negotiating table.

The United States will sanction three of Russia’s most-watched state-controlled TV channels – Joint Stock Company Channel One Russia, Television Station Russia-1 and Joint Stock Company NTV Broadcasting Company, the official said, adding that the stations have been among the biggest recipients of foreign income, which fuels the Russian state.

The administration will also bar US individuals from providing accounting, trust, and business formation or management consulting services to anyone in the Russian Federation in an effort to limit key services to Moscow’s businesses and elites whose wealth generates revenue for Russia and who are trying to hide that money and evade sanctions, the official said.

The action builds on previous restrictions on the export of goods in the aerospace, marine, electronics, technology and defense sectors.

In addition, the United States will further restrict Russian exports by sanctioning Promtekhnologiya, a company that produces guns and other weapons used in military operations in Ukraine, as well as seven shipping companies and a marine towing company, the official said. responsible. The Nuclear Regulatory Commission will also suspend export licenses for certain nuclear materials to Russia.

The United States will issue a new rule to impose additional sanctions on Russia’s industrial sector, including a wide range of raw materials and equipment, such as wood products, industrial engines and motors, to limit the the country’s access to these items as well as the revenue that could support its military capabilities, the official continued.

The G-7, which includes the United States, Britain, France, Germany, Italy, Japan and Canada, has also pledged to phase out or ban Russian oil imports. and pledged to work alongside the United States to ensure a stable global energy supply, the official said. mentioned. The Biden administration banned Russian energy imports in early March.

Finally, the United States imposed new visa restrictions on Russian military officials and Moscow-backed authorities allegedly implicated in human rights abuses, violations of international humanitarian law or public corruption in Ukraine, the manager said.

The administration also sanctioned executives of Sberbank, Russia’s largest financial institution, as well as Gazprombank, which facilitates the business of Russia’s Gazprom, one of the world’s largest natural gas exporters, and Moscow Industrial. Bank and its subsidiaries.

Other G-7 leaders have also pledged to take further action against Russian state media, banks and elites, and will act to prevent the provision of key services to Moscow, according to a joint statement shared by the White House.

Sanctions against Russia previously imposed by the United States and its allies and partners have already weighed heavily on the country’s economy, access to technology and supply chains, the official said, adding that this news measures “will increase these costs”.

The virtual meeting of the world’s major economies came as Biden urges Congress to provide an additional $33 billion in military and humanitarian aid to Ukraine in anticipation of the fighting, which began Feb. 24 when Russia launched an invasion, will continue for months.

During their call, which lasted about 70 minutes, the G-7 leaders assured Zelenskyy that they were ready to take further steps to help Ukraine “secure its free and democratic future”, according to the report. communicated.

Zelenskyy reiterated his goal of ensuring a full withdrawal of Russian forces and equipment from Ukraine as well as security guarantees to prevent future attacks, the G-7 leaders said, adding that Kyiv and international partners began discussions on ways to ensure a post-war peace settlement.

“In the coming weeks, we will step up our collective short-term financial support to help Ukraine fill funding gaps and provide basic services to its people, while developing options – together with the Ukrainian authorities. and international financial institutions – to support long-term recovery and reconstruction,” they added.

White House press secretary Jen Psaki underscored the importance of the timing of the G-7 meeting on Friday, saying Russian President Vladimir Putin had “projected his desire” to use the Day of Justice celebrations. Victory for his country on Monday to declare Ukraine’s defeat. The G-7 leaders, in turn, said in their statement that they held the meeting on VE Day, marking the anniversary of Germany’s surrender in World War II, in a show of unity for Ukraine.

In a late-night video on Saturday, Zelenskyy warned that Russia would likely step up its attacks over the weekend into Monday.

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