20.12.16 20:45

US expands sanctions against Russia

U.S. sanctions more individuals and entities in connection with Russia's occupation of Crimea and the conflict in Ukraine.

Censor.NET reports citing the statement by the U.S. Department of the Treasury.

The statement reads: "Today, the Department of the Treasury's Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) updated the Specially Designated Nationals List and the Sectoral Sanctions Identifications List to target sanctions evasion and other activities related to the conflict in Ukraine. Concurrent with today's action, OFAC also published Russia/Ukraine-related General License 11, "Authorizing Certain Transactions With FAU Glavgosekspertiza Rossii." This general license authorizes certain transactions that are ordinarily incident and necessary to requesting, contracting for, paying for, receiving, or utilizing a project design review or permit from FAU Glavgosekspertiza Rossii's office(s) in the Russian Federation.

Read more: EU agrees to retain sanctions against Russia until mid-2017, - Deutsche Welle

"To maintain the effectiveness of existing sanctions, the U.S. Department of the Treasury's Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) today designated seven individuals and eight entities under two Executive orders (E.O.s) related to Russia and Ukraine, and identified two vessels (Marshal Zhukov and Stalingrad) as blocked property. Today's action is part of Treasury's continued effort to counter attempts to circumvent these sanctions.

"The United States remains steadfast in our commitment to maintain sanctions until Russia fully implements its commitments under the Minsk agreements. This action underscores the U.S. government's opposition to Russia's occupation of Crimea and our firm refusal to recognize its attempted annexation of the peninsula. These sanctions follow the European Union's extension on Monday of sanctions and reinforce our continued unity in supporting Ukraine's sovereignty and territorial integrity.

Read more: Poroshenko thanks EU leaders for solidarity in extending Russia sanctions

"Today's action is in response to Russia's unlawful occupation of Crimea and continued aggression in Ukraine," said John E. Smith, Acting OFAC Director. "These targeted sanctions aim to maintain pressure on Russia by sustaining the costs of its occupation of Crimea and disrupting the activities of those who support the violence and instability in Ukraine."

Today OFAC also identified 26 subsidiaries that are owned 50 percent or more by previously sanctioned Russian companies to provide additional information to assist the private sector with sanctions compliance.

Read more: Over 60 PACE delegates voted against Russian delegation credentials restoration, Ukraine's MP Ariev says

In 2014, the European Union, the United States and several other countries imposed sanctions against Russia following its occupation of Crimea and aggression in eastern Ukraine. These restrictive measures were repeatedly extended and expanded. In particular, the talks on visa waiver and a new basic agreement on cooperation were suspended; several Russia's officials were banned to travel to the EU while their assets were attached. Trade, financial, and military restrictions were introduced.

The sanctions list included a total of 151 individuals and 37 entities. The sectoral sanctions were imposed against 20 Russian financial, oil-producing and defense companies.

The Russian Federation introduced a package of retaliation restrictions against the EU, the U.S., Australia, Canada, and Norway in August 2014. The so-called counter-sanctions prohibited imports of fruit, vegetables, as well as dairy and meat products to Russia from these countries for a one-year period.

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