New U.S. sanctions on Russia target key economic sectors


putin sanctionedCiting Russia’s “continued provocations in Ukraine,” President Obama imposed new economic sanctions Wednesday on some of Russia’s largest financial institutions, energy companies and weapons firms.

Among those sanctioned were Russia’s largest independent natural gas and petroleum producers, the Kalashnikov assault rifle’s manufacturer and a senior intelligence official.

“We have emphasized our preference to resolve this issue diplomatically but that we have to see concrete actions and not just words that Russia in fact is committed to trying to end this conflict along the Russia-Ukraine border,” Obama said in the White House briefing room.

“So far, Russia has failed to take any of the steps that I mentioned. In fact, Russia’s support for the separatists and violations of Ukraine’s sovereignty have continued.”

White House aides said the moves, coordinated with European leaders, would turn up pressure on Moscow without disrupting the global economy. The European leaders took milder steps after meeting in Brussels, agreeing to suspend investment and development bank financing for projects in Russia and requesting similar measures from the European Investment Bank.

The new U.S. sanctions don’t target whole sectors of the Russian economy, which the White House has warned is a possible punishment. But they are more sweeping than limits previously put in place in response to Russia’s intervention in eastern Ukraine and its annexation of Crimea in March.

“These sanctions are significant, but they are also targeted and designed to have the maximum impact on Russia while limiting any spillover effects on American companies or those of our allies,” Obama said.

U.S. officials say Russian support to separatists in eastern Ukraine has fueled fighting with the government in Kiev. Russia is arming and financing the separatists and allowing Russian militants to freely cross the border, U.S. officials say.

Obama said he has told Russian President Vladimir Putin that Russia must halt the flow of weapons and fighters, urge separatists to release hostages and support a cease-fire, and pursue internationally mediated talks to end the conflict.

Treasury Secretary Jacob J. Lew warned in a statement that the U.S. is “fully prepared to continue increasing the financial and economic pressure on Russia if it does not cease its provocative behavior.”

Earlier U.S. and European sanctions have had a harsh effect on Russia’s economy, administration officials said.

Putin-Obama-Chess bingoRussia’s growth outlook has been downgraded to a fraction of a percent for this year, and its stock market has seen declines, at a time when other emerging stock markets have grown. The International Monetary Fund projects capital flight from Russia this year will amount to about $100 billion.

U.S. officials said the new sanctions prohibit Americans from providing new financing to two major Russian financial institutions, Gazprombank and the state-owned development bank VEB. They also target Novatek, Russia’s largest independent natural gas producer, and Rosneft, Russia’s largest petroleum company.

The move severely restricts these companies’ access to U.S. capital markets, which Russia relies on to finance major enterprises.

The administration also cut off Feodosiya Enterprises, a key shipping facility in the Crimean peninsula, and eight Russian weapons firms, including the Kalashnikov Concern, Russia’s largest firearms producer. Among the four Russian government officials on the list was Sergey Beseda, head of the Federal Security Service’s Fifth Service, which is responsible for spying on former Soviet republics, including Ukraine.

Analysts said the sanctions may send a chill through financial markets conducting business with or investing in Russia, which could affect the U.S. economy.

“At a minimum, U.S. institutions are now going to have to review the nature of their business relationships with any of these entities,” said Juan C. Zarate, a senior advisor at the Center for Strategic and International Studies and former deputy national security advisor in the George W. Bush administration. “They’re going to have to figure out how to ensure they’re not liable and that they don’t fall prey to enforcement actions.”

It “begins to create uncertainty about what might be acceptable in longer-term capital deals. That starts to tighten capital markets and scare investors…. That will have opportunity costs and will trickle down in some way to stockholders and consumers,” he said.

LA Times



6 responses to “New U.S. sanctions on Russia target key economic sectors”

  1. Russia and Ukraine are a single country temporarily separated by the machinations of the CIA. They should forget everything and re-unite with the help of other republics that were part of the same country, with no role for the EU or the UN. A body of representatives of the former republics including Russia and Ukraine should by consensus make all decisions which everyone has to abide by. The separate republics are the result of a voluntary dissolution of a utopian state because of its leaders’ willingness to experiment. By now it is clear that the republics should re-integrate..

    Ukrainians should at least suspend their strife till after the destruction of the United States. Indian are going crazy that, in response to my reference to Modi fighting for a U.S. visa, the United States wants to “honor” Modi by having him address a joint session of U.S. Congress. They are silent about the honor given to the greatest Indian of all time:- “”India’s greatest scientist and greatest living Indian publicly tortured in Harvard seminar, systematically and totally starved for up to 3 weeks at a time, made semi-starved and homeless and even blind for years, kept under 24-hour audio and video surveillance as well as surveillance of [and interference with] communications and electrical typewriter and computer use, document creation and photocopying, etc., by satellite for more than past 3 decades, systematically harassed and in poverty and neutralised and robbed of his work at the cost of hundreds of millions of dollars per year, robbed of crores in his money and property in India by C.I.A.-RAW, forced back into exile in the U.S., all with full cooperation and participation of India’s RAW and India’s C.I.A.-RAW-controlled prime ministers, politicians and media — to keep India poor, weak and enslaved” and how this means the nuclear destruction of New Delhi and then the coast-to-coast destruction of the U.S.; see my blog titled ‘Nuclear Supremacy For India Over U.S.’ which can be found by a Yahoo/Google search with the title; my biography can be found in Marquis’ Who’s Who in the World, 2014 and earlier editions.” In the past few years I have had India’s nuclear forces emplace India’s nuclear warheads in Washington, New York and other U.S. cities, ready to be exploded. Simultaneously destroying Washington, New York and New Delhi (RAW headquarters, South Block and North Block) with a warning that additional U.S. cities will be similarly destroyed, with nuclear warheads already emplaced in them, if there is any retaliation or sign of retaliation, will immediately make India the supreme military and economic power in the world even before implementing my proposal about money which can make India’s economy grow 30% per year or more. IndiasLegitimateRulerSatishChandraDOTblogspotDOTcom Satish Chandra

    1. Leborigine Avatar

      Here we go again with the single entity rhetoric. With all due respect Satish, Ukrainians are Ukrainians and Russians are Russians! They both have separate identities as well as a common history. Please do not be fooled like a lot of idiots here who think or believe that Lebanon was once part of syria! Its easy to blab, but its not easy to do your research.

      1. 5thDrawer Avatar

        I think he has stock in the new BRICS bank. 😉

      2. arzatna1 Avatar

        Your response to Satish is perfect . I couldn’t agree with you more . Some people are not born to be free , like to colonized by their big brothers. What a shame!!!

      3. MekensehParty Avatar

        This guy is just part of the dust of what’s left of Marxism
        Don’t mind him 😉

    2. MekensehParty Avatar

      someone ran out of the coocoo’s nest
      Do you really expect not to be under constant surveillance when you publicly threaten to nuke some of the biggest cities in the world???
      I knew that reading Marx can drive people crazy but Satish you surpassed everyone, including Marx.

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