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US, EU pile new sanctions on Russia for Ukraine war’s 2nd anniversary, Navalny’s death

The United States and the European Union are piling new sanctions on Russia on the eve of the second anniversary of its invasion of Ukraine and in retaliation for the death of noted Kremlin critic Alexei Navalny last week in an Arctic penal colony.

Quick Read

  • The U.S. and EU are imposing new sanctions on Russia in response to the second anniversary of its Ukraine invasion and Alexei Navalny’s death.
  • The U.S. Treasury Department will introduce over 500 sanctions targeting Russia’s war efforts, marking the largest batch of penalties since the 2022 invasion.
  • The sanctions target Russian businessmen and their intermediaries, including the head of Russia’s second-largest bank, through new arrests and indictments by the Justice Department.
  • The EU’s sanctions focus on companies exporting dual-use goods to Russia and scores of Russian officials involved in undermining Ukraine’s sovereignty, including the illegal deportation of Ukrainian children.
  • President Biden emphasizes the global stakes of the conflict and the need for Putin to face consequences to prevent further aggression and costs to NATO Allies and partners.
  • The U.S. sanctions also address individuals connected to Navalny’s imprisonment and sectors like Russia’s financial and defense industries.
  • The EU’s 13th package of sanctions expands its list to over 2,000 targets, including Putin and his associates, and introduces asset freezes and travel bans.
  • Companies in countries like India, Sri Lanka, China, and others are targeted for supporting Russia’s military efforts and circumventing trade restrictions.
  • The sanctions aim to weaken Russia’s military capabilities, including the procurement of components for drones crucial to the war effort.

The Associated Press has the story:

US, EU pile new sanctions on Russia for Ukraine war’s 2nd anniversary, Navalny’s death

Newslooks- WASHINGTON (AP) —

The United States and the European Union are piling new sanctions on Russia on the eve of the second anniversary of its invasion of Ukraine and in retaliation for the death of noted Kremlin critic Alexei Navalny last week in an Arctic penal colony.

The U.S. Treasury Department plans Friday to impose more than 500 new sanctions on Russia and its war machine in the largest single tranche of penalties since Russia’s invasion of Ukraine on Feb. 24, 2022. They come on the heels of a series of new arrests and indictments announced by the Justice Department on Thursday that target Russian businessmen, including the head of Russia’s second-largest bank, and their middlemen in five separate federal cases.

White House national security communications adviser John Kirby speaks at a press briefing at the White House in Washington, Thursday, Feb. 15, 2024. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik)

The European Union announced Friday that it is imposing sanctions on several foreign companies over allegations that they have exported dual-use goods to Russia that could be used in its war against Ukraine. The 27-nation bloc also said that it was targeting scores of Russian officials, including “members of the judiciary, local politicians and people responsible for the illegal deportation and military re-education of Ukrainian children.”

“The American people and people around the world understand that the stakes of this fight extend far beyond Ukraine,” President Joe Biden said in a statement announcing the sanctions. “If Putin does not pay the price for his death and destruction, he will keep going. And the costs to the United States — along with our NATO Allies and partners in Europe and around the world — will rise.”

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy, Denmark’s Prime Minister Mette Frederiksen, and her husband Bo Tengberg, center, lay wreaths during a memorial ceremony at the Field of Mars at Lychakiv Cemetery in Lviv, Ukraine, Friday Feb. 23, 2024. (Mads Claus Rasmussen/Ritzau Scanpix via AP)

The U.S. specifically was to target individuals associated with Navalny’s imprisonment a day after Biden met with the opposition leader’s widow and daughter in California. It was also hitting “Russia’s financial sector, defense industrial base, procurement networks and sanctions evaders across multiple continents,” Biden said. “They will ensure Putin pays an even steeper price for his aggression abroad and repression at home.”

The EU asset freezes and travel bans constitute the 13th package of measures imposed by the bloc against people and organizations it suspects of undermining the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Ukraine.

European Union foreign policy chief Josep Borrell rings a bell to signify the start of a meeting of EU foreign ministers at the European Council building in Brussels, Monday, Jan. 22, 2024. European Union Foreign Affairs Ministers meet in Brussels on Monday to discuss the situation in the Middle East and in Ukraine. (AP Photo/Virginia Mayo)

“Today, we are further tightening the restrictive measures against Russia’s military and defense sector,” EU foreign policy chief Josep Borrell said. “We remain united in our determination to dent Russia’s war machine and help Ukraine win its legitimate fight for self-defense.”

President Joe Biden boards Marine One upon arrival at Andrews Air Force Base, Md., from a campaign and fundraising trip to California, late Thursday, Feb. 22, 2024. (AP Photo/Manuel Balce Ceneta)

In all, 106 more officials and 88 “entities” — often companies, banks, government agencies or other organizations — have been added to the bloc’s sanctions list, bringing the tally of those targeted to more than 2,000 people and entities, including Russian President Vladimir Putin and his associates.

Companies making electronic components, which the EU believes could have military as well as civilian uses, were among 27 entities accused of “directly supporting Russia’s military and industrial complex in its war of aggression against Ukraine,” a statement said.

In this photo provided by the Ukrainian Emergency Service, firefighters work on the site of a burning building after a Russian attack in Odesa, Ukraine, Friday, Feb. 23, 2024. (Ukrainian Emergency Service via AP)

Those companies — some of them based in India, Sri Lanka, China, Serbia, Kazakhstan, Thailand and Turkey — face tougher export restrictions. The names of the companies will only be made public once they are published in the EU’s official journal, which should be a matter of days.

The bloc said the companies “have been involved in the circumvention of trade restrictions,” and it accuses others of “the development, production and supply of electronic components” destined to help Russia’s armed forces.

Some of the measures are aimed at depriving Russia of parts for pilotless drones, which are seen by military experts as key to the war.

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