New U.S. sanctions target Russian gold imports, defense industry

New U.S. sanctions target Russian gold imports, defense industry

The United States on Tuesday imposed sanctions on more than 100 targets and banned new imports of Russian gold, acting on commitments made by the Group of Seven leaders this week to further punish Russia over its invasion of Ukraine.

The U.S. Treasury Department said it imposed sanctions on 70 entities, many of which it said are critical to Russia’s defense industrial base, as well as 29 people in an effort to hinder Russia’s ability to develop and deploy weapons and technology.

The move freezes any U.S. assets of those designated and generally bars Americans from dealing with them.

“Targeting Russia’s defense industry will degrade (Russian President Vladimir) Putin’s capabilities and further impede his war against Ukraine, which has already been plagued by poor morale, broken supply chains, and logistical failures,” Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen said in a statement.

The U.S. action is the latest in several rafts of sanctions targeting Moscow since its Feb. 24 invasion of Ukraine.

Fresh sanctions were imposed on Rostec, Russia’s state aerospace and defense conglomerate. The Treasury said Rostec’s “management umbrella includes more than 800 entities across a wide range of sectors” and that all entities owned 50% or more, directly or indirectly, by Rostec are blocked.

United Aircraft Corporation (UAC)was sanctioned to “weaken Russia’s ability to continue its aerial assault on Ukraine,” the Treasury said.

UAC makes Russia’s MiG and Sukhoi fighter jets – planes that are also flown by U.S. allies including some NATO members – and is majority-owned by Rostec.

Tupolev, maker of Russian strategic bomber and transport aircraft, was also designated.

PLANES, TRUCKS, GOLD
Irkut Corp, a UAC-affiliated aircraft manufacturer that builds many of the Sukhoi Su-30 fighter jets used by Russia in Ukraine, was targeted, as were several of its subsidiaries and other companies in Russia’s aerospace sector.

The Treasury also named some 20 entities that develop, produce and service military electronics gear under the Rostec-owned Ruselectronics electronic company.

The United States slapped sanctions on Russia’s largest truck manufacturer, Kamaz (KMAZ.MM), saying its vehicles have been seen carrying missiles and Russian soldiers throughout the Ukraine conflict. It named nine subsidiaries of Kamaz, a publicly-traded company less than 50% owned by Rostec.

U.S. imports of Russian-origin gold have been banned, with the exception of gold located outside of Russia prior to Tuesday. Russia produces around 10% of the gold mined globally each year and it is the country’s biggest non-energy export.

Gold is a crucial asset for the Russian central bank, which has faced restrictions on accessing some of its assets held abroad because of Western sanctions.

Others designated on Tuesday include people involved in sanctions evasion, the conflict, as well as several current and former officials in the two self-declared breakaway territories in Ukraine’s Donbas region – the Donetsk People’s Republic and the Luhansk People’s Republic.

The State Department on Tuesday is also imposing sanctions on 45 entities and 29 people, including Russian military units, the Treasury said. Over 500 Russian military officers will also be hit with visa restrictions, as will other officials.

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