Get ready, Russia: US and EU launch sanctions for death of opponent, Alexei Navalny

The United States and the European Union are piling up new sanctions against Russia in on the eve of the second anniversary of the invasion of Ukraine and in retaliation for the death of prominent critic Alexei Navalny last week in an Arctic penal colony.

The U.S. Treasury, State and Commerce departments plan to impose rules on Friday. 600 new sanctions on Russia and its war machine in the largest tranche of sanctions since Russia’s invasion of Ukraine on February 24, 2022. On Thursday, the Justice Department announced several arrests and charges against Russian businessmenincluding the head of Russia’s second-largest bank, and his intermediaries in five separate federal cases.

In line with the United States, the European Union announced on Friday that it will impose sanctions on several foreign companies over accusations that they have exported dual-use products to Russia that could be used in their war against Ukraine. The 27-nation bloc also aims dozens of Russian officialsincluding “members of the judiciary, local politicians and persons responsible for the illegal deportation and military reeducation of Ukrainian children.”

“The American people and people around the world understand that the stakes in this fight extend far beyond Ukraine,” President Joe Biden said in a statement announcing the sanctions. “If Putin does not pay the price of his death and destruction, he will move on. And the costs for the United States — along with our NATO allies and partners in Europe and around the world — will increase.”

War is becoming entangled in American politics in an election year.

Which Russian companies will be sanctioned by the US?

Many of the U.S. sanctions announced Friday target Russian companies that contribute to the Kremlin’s war effort — including drone and aircraft manufacturers. industrial chemicals– as well as financial institutionsas the state operator of Russia’s Mir National Payment System.

The sanctions officials will be prohibited from traveling to the United States and will block access to properties American owned. However, it is unclear how many of the sanctioned officials travel or have assets or family members in the West. If they fail to do so, the sanctions may be largely symbolic.

Besides, 26 people and companies from third countries China, Serbia, United Arab Emirates and Liechtenstein They are on the sanctions list for helping Russia evade existing financial sanctions.

The Russian Foreign Ministry noted that the EU sanctions are “illegal” and undermine “the international legal prerogatives of the UN Security Council.” In response, the foreign ministry will ban some EU citizens from entering the country because they have provided military assistance to Ukraine. He did not immediately address US sanctions.

The freezing of assets and vetoes on obtaining visas are part of the third package of measures imposed by Brussels against people and organizations suspected of attacking the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Ukraine.

“Today we further tighten the restrictive measures against Russia’s military and defense sector,” said Josep Borrell, the bloc’s foreign policy chief. “We remain united in our determination to make a dent in the Russian war machine and to help Ukraine win its legitimate struggle for self-defense.”

Total, 106 more officials and 88 “entities” —which are usually companies, banks, government agencies or other organizations— have been added to the EU sanctions list, which already has more than 2 thousand names, including Vladimir Putin and his associates.

Between the 27 entities accused To “directly support the Russian military and industrial complex in its war of aggression against Ukraine” there would be manufacturers of electronic components that, according to the EU, can have military and civilian uses, a statement indicated.

These companies — some based in India, Sri Lanka, China, Serbia, Kazakhstan, Thailand and Turkey — will face tougher export restrictions. The names of the firms will be revealed when they are published in the official EU gazette, which should happen within days.

According to the bloc, the companies “have been involved in violating trade restrictions” and accuses others of “development, production and supply of electronic components” intended to help the Russian armed forces.

Some of the measures seek to deprive Russia of parts for drones, which military experts say are key in the war.