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New US sanctions target Russian mining corporations, suppliers helping Russia evade restrictions

by Elsa Court and The Kyiv Independent news desk July 20, 2023 10:26 PM 2 min read
Wally Adeyemo, deputy US Treasury secretary, speaks during a news conference at the Department of Justice in Washington, DC, on Wednesday, Jan. 18, 2023. (Photographer: Al Drago/Bloomberg via Getty Images)
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The U.S. government announced a new sweeping set of sanctions on July 20, which aims to target Russia's war effort. Russian officials and industries, individuals linked to Wagner leader Yevgeny Prigozhin, and Kyrgyz companies have been sanctioned.

Among the people added to the list is Alexei Kudrin, a close ally of Russian President Vladimir Putin and corporate development advisor for the Russian tech giant Yandex.

Factories, high-technology industries, and mining companies across Russia have been listed, as well as five Russian banks. The US wants to limit the country's ability to maintain access to the global financial system.

Deputy Secretary of the Treasury Wally Adeyemo stated that the new package represents "another step in our efforts to constrain Russia’s military capabilities, its access to battlefield supplies, and its economic bottom line."

A Russian national, Valery Chekalov, and a North Korean citizen, Yong Hyuk Rim, have been sanctioned for their affiliations with the Wagner group, to which they helped supply ammunition.

Several companies based in Kyrgyzstan have also been sanctioned for their role in supplying Russia with dual-use technology - equipment that can be used not only by civilians, but also the military.

The Washington Post reported on July 18 that US officials have been concerned about the role Kyrgyz companies play in bypassing sanctions. The Central Asian country is a popular route for Russia to obtain components for drones, aircraft parts and bomb circuitry.

Public records show that the overall volume of the country's exports to Russia jumped by 250% over the previous year, before the full-scale invasion of Ukraine.

European Pravda noted that two of the sanctioned companies, which ship electronic and aviation equipment to Russia, were established within a month of the start of Russia's full-scale invasion.

“As long as Russia continues to wage its unprovoked and brutal war against Ukraine, we will impose sanctions to deprive Russia of the technology it needs and disrupt the Russian arms industry’s ability to resupply,” said Adeyemo.

The move comes the same day as the announcement of new EU sanctions against Iran. The measures prohibit the export of components to Iran which are commonly used in the construction of attack drones.

The sanctions come after months of reports from the Ukrainian authorities that the Iranian-made Russian attack drones contain western parts. The kamikaze drones are used to exhaust and detect Ukrainian air defense prior to launching missiles.

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