US Tries to Inflict Fresh Financial Pain on Russia

President Biden announced 500 new sanctions on Friday
By Kate Seamons,  Newser Staff
Posted Feb 23, 2024 7:33 AM CST
US Hands Russia 'Largest Tranche' of Sanctions in 2 Years
Russian President Vladimir Putin takes part in a wreath laying ceremony at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier in Alexander Garden on Defender of the Fatherland Day, in Moscow, Russia, Friday, Feb. 23, 2024.   (Alexander Kazakov, Sputnik, Kremlin Pool Photo via AP)

Saturday represents the second anniversary of Russia's invasion of Ukraine, and the United States is marking the occasion by foisting 500 new sanctions on Russia, for both the war and the death last Friday of Alexei Navalny. The AP calls it "the largest single tranche of penalties" the US has imposed on Russia in the last two years. In his announcement, President Biden said the sanctions go after those with ties to Navalny's imprisonment along with Russia's war machine—its "financial sector, defense industrial base, and procurement networks," NBC News reports. The BBC reports nearly 100 companies and individuals will see export restrictions placed on them. More on the pain being directed Russia's way:

  • Arrests, too: The Justice Department also set its sights on Russia this week, on Thursday announcing new arrests and indictments of Russian businessmen, including the head of Russia's second-largest bank, and their middlemen in five separate federal cases.
  • The EU joins in: The EU also piled on the sanctions Friday, announcing new ones on a number of foreign companies who are alleged to have exported electronics components to Russia that it could use against Ukraine. "Members of the judiciary, local politicians, and people responsible for the illegal deportation and military re-education of Ukrainian children" are also being targeted. The BBC reports Russia has banned more EU officials from entering Russia in response.

  • Biden's perspective: "The American people and people around the world understand that the stakes of this fight extend far beyond Ukraine. 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."
  • The aim, the questions: The Washington Post reports the US is seeking to "constrict the billions of dollars in energy revenue that have financed President Vladimir Putin's war in Ukraine," and it points out the sanctions imposed by the West over the past two years haven't done much to curtail Putin. "The announcement of new measures may raise questions about why the United States had not previously targeted these firms. Despite the predictions of some analysts, Russia's economy grew by more than 3% last year—faster than the United States—as Moscow spent extensively to support the war effort."
(More sanctions stories.)

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