US unilaterally widens sanctions on Russia over Ukraine

US unilaterally widens sanctions on Russia over Ukraine

Published time: July 16, 2014 20:29

The Obama administration has widened the list of sanctions unilaterally targeting individuals as well as financial institutions and defense companies which the US believes are involved in destabilizing the situation in Ukraine.

The US has moved to impose tougher sanctions against Russia over the tense situation in Ukraine. The widened set of restrictions have been placed on Bank Rossiya and State Duma Deputy Speaker Sergey Neverov.

The announcement comes after a meeting in Brussels with EU delegates, who so far failed to follow suit, instead the block is to consider their own package of penalties against Russia.

The European Union is yet to agree on measures to tighten sanctions against Russia but it has apparently stopped short of adopting measures advocated by Washington. Diplomatic sources on the sidelines of the summit told Itar-Tass that EU heads of state did not accept the sectoral trade and economic constraints clauses although supporting some new sanctions.

“An agreement was reached to suspend the launch of new projects by the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development and the European Investment Bank. Decisions on sectoral trade and economic sanctions were not taken,” said the source.

Meanwhile, among the individuals Washington has blacklisted are Minister for Crimean Affairs Oleg Savelyev, presidential aide Igor Shchegolev and Donetsk People’s Republic (DPR) PM Aleksandr Boroday.

Other blacklisted defense sector companies include “Almaz-Antey” corporation, the “Kalashnikov” concern and Instrument Design Bureau, as well as companies and NGOs such as “Izhmash”,”Basalt” and Uralvagonzavod.

Among the financial institution added to sanction lists Vnesheconombank, Gazprombank and Rosneft were named.

In its press release, the US Department of Treasury says that new sanctions were adopted in response to the “continued attempts to destabilize eastern Ukraine” and the “ongoing occupation of Crimea.”

In particular, the US aims to limit access to US capital markets by Russian banks – Gazprombank OAO and VEB – as well as energy companies OAO Novatek and Rosneft.

Washington explains that it has imposed sanctions against DPR and LPR because they are not recognized by Kiev, despite having achieved an overwhelming victory in self-determination votes.

“Treasury designated the “Lugansk People’s Republic” and the “Donetsk People’s Republic,” which have asserted governmental authority over parts of Ukraine without the authorization of the Government of Ukraine; and Aleksandr Boroday, the self-declared “prime minister” of the Donetsk People’s Republic, for threatening the peace, security, stability, sovereignty, and territorial integrity of Ukraine,” the press release says.

Feodosiya Enterprises, a key shipping facility in the Crimean peninsula, has also been blacklisted as complicit in the “misappropriation of state assets of Ukraine”.

US says that the aim is to increase the “isolation” of Russian companies.

“By imposing sanctions on entities within the financial services and energy sectors, the Treasury has increased the cost of economic isolation for key Russian firms that value their access to medium- and long-term US sources of financing. By designating firms in the arms or related materiel sector, Treasury has cut these firms off from the US financial system and the US economy.”

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