Yellen Imposes Secondary Sanctions Against Russia-Friendly Entities

( – Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen has announced an expansion of Russian sanctions, targeting those who keep Moscow’s economy afloat.

Sanctions will apply to any foreign entity conducting transactions with an already-sanctioned Russian body. The Treasury’s authority to enact the measures is derived from a Presidential Executive Order last December, in which President Biden gave Yellen the green light to target financial institutions that have acted on behalf of or in partnership with around 1,200 bodies considered part of Russia’s military machine.

The expansion will increase the number of entities subject to sanctions to approximately 4,500 and apply to previously sanctioned institutions, even if not for reasons related to the Ukraine war. Secretary Yellen said the extension’s purpose is to “deal with Russia’s war economy” and terminate “paths for evasion.” It intends to hinder Moscow’s ability to benefit from foreign technologies and equipment.

The move comes as evidence reveals that prior sanctions have had the desired impact and created reluctance among financial institutions to engage with Russian customers, and prompted a decline in Russian imports.

Among the key targets is China, and specifically, the sale of semiconductors to Russia. A commerce department official told reporters that the sanctions will impact not just US-produced technology but also US-branded, and affect millions of dollars’ worth of high-priority products. Moscow’s prior attempts to avoid sanctions through “convoluted schemes” are also included.

A Treasury statement named Walter Moretti, a Swiss businessman, whom it says has procured technologies and equipment for Russian intelligence services. Also included are Sharda Subramaniam and Surya Dutta, both Indian nationals, who have covertly procured technology and equipment for Russia’s intelligence services and military apparatus.

Similarly, German national Dirk Troendle has assisted efforts, in partnership with Moretti, to supply goods, services, and other material support to Moscow, the statement claims.

Entities and individuals from the Netherlands and Liechtenstein are specified, as well as individuals or companies associated with the Czechia-based Radioavtomatika Procurement Network, which “specializes in procuring foreign items for Russia’s defense industry.”

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