US unveils new Russia sanctions, implements ban on new imports of Russian gold

US unveils new Russia sanctions, implements ban on new imports of Russian gold


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 steps, including the gold import ban, meant to weaken Moscow.

In a statement, the US Treasury Department announced sanctions on 70 entities, including State Corporation Rostec — “a massive Russian state-owned enterprise formed to consolidate Russia’s technological, aerospace, and military-industrial expertise” — and its key holdings and affiliates, as well as 29 Russian individuals.

The Treasury Department re-designated the so-called Donetsk People’s Republic (DNR) and Luhansk People’s Republic (LNR) — two pro-Russian separatist regions of Ukraine recognized as independent by Moscow — and sanctioned Vitaliy Pavlovich Khotsenko, who is “the newly appointed chairperson of the so-called government of the DNR,” and six individuals who “are or have been high level officials in the so-called DNR and LNR governments.”

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

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

The State Department will also move “to impose visa restrictions on officials believed to have threatened or violated Ukraine’s sovereignty, territorial integrity, or political independence, including on more than 500 Russian Federation military officers and on Russian Federation officials involved in suppressing dissent,” it said.

The West’s withering set of sanctions on Russia has taken a dramatic 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 pain on Americans through higher gas prices, an effect of global bans on importing 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 world’s largest producers have been borne out in the following months. As Americans and Europeans are suffering high gas prices, Moscow is still reaping massive revenues from its oil exports — due in part to the skyrocketing prices.

A plan from US Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen seeks to reverse that. Over the past several months, she has pressed G7 nations to apply a price cap on Russian oil, limiting the amount of money Russia makes from the places it is still exporting.

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 nations wield enough leverage through their transportation and distribution networks to enforce the caps.

This is a breaking story and will be updated.

Quoted from Various Sources

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