US announces sanctions on Russian military entities and Belarus

The United States on Wednesday announced sanctions on 22 Russian military entities and restrictions on exports of technology that Russia can use to refine oil.

In addition, the US Department of Commerce extended to Belarus the export controls it has imposed on Russia, in order to “significantly degrade” Minsk’s ability to support Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

The White House reported these sanctions in a statement and confirmed the decision already revealed on Tuesday by President Joe Biden to close US airspace to any aircraft “certified, operated, registered or controlled by persons related to Russia”.

The 22 Russian entities sanctioned this Wednesday are related to the Russian defense sector, and among them are companies that manufacture aircraft and combat vehicles, electronic systems, missiles, and drones for the Russian military, according to the White House.

To weaken Russia’s status as a global energy supplier without overly affecting global markets, the Commerce Department has also decided to restrict technology exports that could benefit “Russian long-term (oil) refining capacity. “

And that same department “will extend to Belarus the rigid export control policies” that it has imposed on Russia, to “avoid the diversion of products, technologies, and software” through that Moscow-allied country, the White House said.

“This will profoundly limit the ability of Russia and Belarus to obtain the materials they need to support their military aggression against Ukraine,” he added.

The measure prevents from this Wednesday the US export of any material that can “support the defense, maritime and aerospace industries” of Belarus, the Department of Commerce specified.

Finally, that department announced that it will add to its list of sanctions more companies and entities that may have supported in some way the military and security services of Russia and Belarus.

On the other hand, Biden did not rule out this Wednesday vetoing US imports of Russian oil and accused Russia of deliberately attacking areas where civilians reside in Ukraine.

Just 7% of US imports of crude oil and refined petroleum products came from Russia in 2020, according to data from the Energy Information Administration (EIA).

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