US imposes sweeping new sanctions on Russian economy ahead of G7 summit

US imposes sweeping new sanctions on Russian economy ahead of G7 summit

New penalties seek to curb Russia's ability to evade penalties, with Biden administration saying it is 'particularly concerned' by trade with China

By Michael Hernandez

WASHINGTON (AA) - The Biden administration rolled out Wednesday sweeping new sanctions on Russia in an attempt to thwart previous efforts to circumvent economic penalties imposed in retaliation for its war on Ukraine.

The new sanctions, announced as US President Joe Biden heads to Italy for a gathering of G7 leaders, target over 300 individuals and entities, including over two-dozen China-based entities. Washington is seeking to restrict the growing technology trade between Beijing and Moscow that the US has said is being used to bolster Moscow's war effort.

The State Department said the Biden administration is "particularly concerned" by the growing trade in what is known as "dual use" technologies between Russia and China, saying Moscow "continues to leverage sanctions evasion and circumvention networks to procure components such as microelectronics, which it uses to make weapons."

"Imports from the PRC are filling critical gaps in Russia’s defense production cycle to produce weapons, ramp up defense production, and bolster its military-industrial base," it said in a statement.

Other entities are based in East Asia, the Middle East, Europe, Africa, Central Asia and the Caribbean.

The new sanctions efforts also includes an expansion on US efforts to go after foreign banks doing business with blacklisted Russian entities, increasing the risk of secondary sanctions being applied to any institution that does business with designated entities in Russia.

"Our commitment to Ukraine will continue, and we will show our resolve through the specific actions we are taking, including through close coordination with all of our partners," National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan told reporters aboard Air Force One as it headed to Italy.

Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen said Russia is "desperate for access to the outside world," and Wednesday's new penalties are aimed at further restricting the Kremlin's ability to trade and do businesses with foreign entities.

"Today’s actions strike at their remaining avenues for international materials and equipment, including their reliance on critical supplies from third countries. We are increasing the risk for financial institutions dealing with Russia’s war economy and eliminating paths for evasion, and diminishing Russia’s ability to benefit from access to foreign technology, equipment, software, and IT services," she said in a statement.

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