The United States on Friday imposed sweeping sanctions on Russia over its declared annexation of a swath of Ukraine, targeting hundreds of people and companies, including those in Russia’s military-industrial complex and lawmakers.
Washington acted after Russian President Vladimir Putin on Friday proclaimed the biggest annexation in Europe since World War Two, declaring Russian rule over 15% of Ukraine.
“We will rally the international community to both denounce these moves and to hold Russia accountable. We will continue to provide Ukraine with the equipment it needs to defend itself, undeterred by Russia’s brazen effort to redraw the borders of its neighbor,” US President Joe Biden said in a statement.
Russia’s embassy in Washington did not immediately respond to a Reuters request for comment.
Guidance from the US Treasury and the Commerce Department warned that anyone outside Russia, including companies, that provide political, economic or material support to Moscow faced a heightened risk of sanctions.
The Treasury sanctions generally freeze any US assets of those designated and bar Americans from dealing with them.
Commerce added 57 entities in Russia and Crimea to its US export blacklist.
Treasury said it imposed sanctions on 14 people in Russia’s military-industrial complex, two leaders of the country’s central bank, family members of top officials and 278 members of Russia’s legislature “for enabling Russia’s sham referenda and attempt to annex sovereign Ukrainian territory.”
Among those designated was Deputy Prime Minister Alexander Novak; 109 State Duma members; the Federation Council of the Federal Assembly of Russia and 169 of its members; and the governor of the Central Bank of Russia, Elvira Nabiullina.
Among the targets related to Russia’s defense procurement was a Chinese supplier the Treasury accused of supporting Radioavtomatika, a US-designated Russian defense procurement firm.
Washington said Sinno Electronics Co Ltd, previously placed on the Commerce Department’s entity list, maintained a relationship with the Russian firm even after the invasion of Ukraine.
Sinno did not immediately respond to a Reuters request for comment.
Taco LLC in Armenia; Russia’s Novastream Limited; a Belarusian state-owned supplier, and Russian technology and defense firms were among other companies designated over Russia’s defense procurement.
Treasury also designated family members of Russia’s National Security Council, such as Russian Prime Minister Mikhail Mishustin’s wife and two adult children, Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu’s wife and adult children and National Guard head Viktor Zolotov’s wife and adult children.
In addition, the immediate family members of the deputy chairman of Russia’s Federation Security Council Dmitry Medvedev, Speaker of the Federation Council Valentina Matviyenko, and Saint Petersburg Governor Alexander Beglov were hit with sanctions.
The US State Department in a separate statement said it imposed visa restrictions on more than 900 people, including members of the Russian and Belarusian military and “Russia’s proxies for violating Ukraine’s sovereignty, territorial integrity, and political independence,” barring them from traveling to the United States.
The United States singled out a Russian national, Ochur-Suge Mongush, for his involvement in what US Secretary of State Antony Blinken called “a gross violation of human rights perpetrated against a Ukrainian prisoner of war,” and said Mongush and his immediate family members cannot enter the United States.
Canada also announced on Friday measures against dozens of oligarchs, financial elites and their family members, plus 35 Russian-backed senior officials in the regions where the referendums took place.
Washington’s targets are largely proportionate to Russia’s annexation, said Brian O’Toole, a former Treasury official now with the Atlantic Council think tank.
The action against Sinno Electronics serves as a warning to other Chinese companies and those that might do business with Russia, he said.
“I’m impressed at how robust this is given that this was a relatively short turnaround,” O’Toole said.
Russia declared the annexations on Friday after holding what it called referendums in occupied areas of Ukraine. Western governments and Kyiv said the votes breached international law and were coercive and non-representative.
US national security adviser Jake Sullivan spoke with NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg on Friday about their “shared concern” over the Russian annexation and the need to protect critical infrastructure after the apparent sabotage of the Nord Stream 2 pipeline, the United States said.