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Friday, May 24, 2024

U.S. targets Russia with sanctions, Moscow says measures won’t work

The Biden administration also sent a message to China and other countries that they should not try to help Russia evade sanctions.

The United States marked the first anniversary of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine on Friday (Dec 24) with US$2 billion in weaponry for Kyiv and new sanctions against Russia aimed at undermining Moscow’s ability to wage war.

US President Joe Biden’s administration unveiled the sanctions as the G7 nations and Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy met to discuss more aid.

Read more: Russian diplomat responds to US over ‘big country bullying’

Among the steps were placing visa restrictions on Russian military members, freezing the assets of allies of President Vladimir Putin, effectively banning aluminum imports from Russia, curbing Russian banking and arms-making activity and putting the country’s second largest mobile phone company Megafon on a trade blacklist.

Additional measures could be imposed at a later date, US officials said.

The Biden administration also sent a message to China and other countries that they should not try to help Russia evade sanctions.

“We will sanction additional actors tied to Russia’s defence and technology industry, including those responsible for backfilling Russian stocks of sanctioned items or enabling Russian sanctions evasion,” the White House said.

The aid to Ukraine, however, fell short of providing the F-16 fighter jets that Kyiv has requested and some US officials are raising doubts about the ability of such measures to slow the increasing hostilities on the battlefield ahead of an anticipated springtime offensive by Russia.

Read more: US believes Russia might provide Iran with fighter jets: White House

Anatoly Antonov, the Russian ambassador to the US, said the sanctions would have no impact.

He said the new sanctions were “thoughtless” and designed to make Russia suffer.

“Does anyone really think that this is the way to get our country to abandon its independent policies, to force it off its chosen path towards building a multipolar world based on the principle of indivisible security, on international law and the UN Charter?” a post on the embassy’s Facebook page quoted him as saying.