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US reveals new anti-Russia sanctions

The measures target Donbass rebuilders, children’s education, shipping, and nuclear energy

The US government on Wednesday announced new sanctions against over 80 individuals, vessels and companies it has accused of “enabling and facilitating” Russian actions in Ukraine. Among the embargoed entities are construction and recycling companies, outfits rebuilding the war-torn Donbass, children’s camps, and subsidiaries of the nuclear energy giant Rosatom.

Companies allegedly linked to “oligarch” Alisher Usmanov top the State Department’s sanctions announcement, starting with his USM Holding. The sanctions apply to its software, telecom, iron and gold mining, and even recycling subsidiaries. Two cement companies, serving Russia and Uzbekistan respectively, were also blacklisted. 

All of the businesses were sanctioned for “being owned or controlled by, or for having acted or purported to act for or on behalf of, directly or indirectly,” Usmanov and his holdings. However, the US Treasury Department intends to issue four waivers allowing “certain activities with a number” of the sanctioned entities.

Another 27 entities – including 19 ships – were blacklisted for “the facilitation of sanctions evasion activity via international transshipment.” This includes the Russian leasing company GTLK and its CEO Yevgeny Ditrikh, shipping company Novelco and its CEO Grigory Grigoriev. 

Two Türkiye-based companies, Artvin and Salda, were sanctioned for providing “financial, material, or technological support for, or goods or services to or in support of” sanctioned Russian businesses. Ankara is a NATO member and Washington’s ally, but has not joined the US and EU sanctions against Moscow. 

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Lawyer Christodoulos Vassiliades and his “network” – including several companies, two of his children, and a “key associate” – were described as “prolific enablers of a number of Russian oligarchs” and placed on the sanctions list. Vassiliades himself was sanctioned by the UK for being a board member of Sberbank, the State Department noted.

“Youth Army,” or the All-Russian Children and Youth Military Patriotic Public Movement, an organization set up by Defense Minister Sergey Shoigu, was sanctioned for “militarizing and propagandizing schoolchildren in occupied areas of Ukraine [sic].” So was the Crimea Patriot Center, a state-funded institution offering a “military-patriotic education” to Russian youth.

The US has also blacklisted Alexey Bashkirov, a board member of Norilsk Nickel, and seven companies “linked” to him – including one in the UAE and five in Cyprus. Deputy Prime Minister for Construction and Regional Development Marat Khusnullin was described only as being “involved in military-related infrastructure development in occupied Ukraine [sic].”

China HEAD Aerospace Technology Company, a satellite imagery reseller, was sanctioned for allegedly providing photos to Yevgeny Prigozhin and the Wagner Group Private Military Company. Patriot PMC, described as a Wagner competitor “associated with” Defense Minister Shoigu, was likewise sanctioned.

Rounding off Wednesday’s list were five entities associated with the State Atomic Energy Corporation Rosatom, which the State Department accused of using “energy exports, including in the nuclear sector, to exert political and economic pressure on its customers globally.”

The designations freeze any property these people and entities may have in the US or under control of Americans, and prohibit all Americans – or those transiting US territory – from doing any sort of business with them without the specific approval of Washington.

April 12, 2023 at 11:02PM

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