The United States announced on Tuesday that it is imposing new sanctions on individuals and entities involved in Russia’s war in Ukraine, including third country actors who help Russia evade and circumvent existing sanctions.
The move is part of the US’s efforts to disrupt the networks that Russia uses to procure technology and equipment for its illegal war, which has killed over 14,000 people and displaced millions since 2014.
The new sanctions, which were coordinated with the G7, Australia, and other partners, target Russia’s future energy capabilities, such as the Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline and the exploration and drilling of new oil and gas wells. The sanctions also target a suicide drone that has been used by Russia to attack Ukrainian troops and equipment, as well as several Russian banks that facilitate transactions for the war effort.
The US State Department spokesperson Matthew Miller said in a statement that the sanctions are a response to Russia’s “mounting atrocities” in Ukraine and its “continued disregard” for international law and human rights. He added that the US will continue to work with its allies and partners to “hold Russia accountable for its aggression and to support Ukraine’s sovereignty, territorial integrity, and Euro-Atlantic aspirations”.
The new sanctions come amid heightened tensions between Russia and the West over the war in Ukraine, which has seen a recent escalation of violence and a buildup of Russian troops near the border. The US and its allies have condemned Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and called for a diplomatic solution to the conflict, while Russia has accused the West of meddling in its internal affairs and supporting Ukrainian “fascists” and “terrorists”.
The sanctions are expected to have a significant impact on Russia’s economy, which is already suffering from the effects of previous sanctions, low oil prices, and the Covid-19 pandemic. The Russian ruble has plunged to record lows against the dollar and the euro, while the Russian central bank has raised interest rates to 20 per cent to curb inflation and stabilize the currency. Russia has also faced international isolation and criticism for its war in Ukraine, which has damaged its reputation and credibility as a global actor.