US unveils new sanctions against Russia targeting defense contractors and hundreds of lawmakers

The United States on Thursday announced a series of new financial sanctions against Russian lawmakers and defense contractors, increasing financial pressure on Moscow over its invasion of Ukraine.

Recent actions by the Ministry of Finance have targeted more than 400 individuals and organizations, including dozens of Russian defense contractors; 328 members of the Russian State Duma, the lower house of parliament; And dozens of people from the Russian elite.

Russia invades Ukraine: live updates

The sanctions that the United States will impose will affect Hermann Gref, head of Russia’s largest financial institution and advisor to President Vladimir Putin. Russian billionaire Gennady Timchenko, his companies and family members; In addition to 17 members of the board of directors of the Russian financial institution Sofcombank.

Russian President Vladimir Putin attends a flag-raising ceremony at an official residence outside Moscow via video link. (Alexei Nikolsky/Sputnik/AFP via Getty Images/Getty Images)

The White House said the defense companies affected by the sanctions are Russian Helicopters, Tactical Missile Corporation, High Precision Systems, NBK Tekmash, OAU and Kronstadt.

The United States launched a global campaign to punish the Kremlin for this Invasion of Ukraine Just under a month ago, this was the largest attack on a European country in decades.

The new measures were announced at high-level summits between President Biden and the leaders of NATO, the European Union and the Group of Seven. The United States and its European allies are seeking a united front against the Kremlin after imposing a comprehensive and coordinated package of sanctions on Russia in the immediate aftermath of the invasion.

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A Belgian delegation greets US President Joe Biden, who arrived for an extraordinary NATO summit to discuss ongoing deterrence and defense efforts in response to Russia’s attack on Ukraine on March 23, 2022 in Brussels, Belgium. (Reuters/Evelyn Hochstein/Reuters Photo)

Previous sanctions imposed by the West have included cutting off a large part of the Russian Central Bank by preventing it from selling dollars, euros and other foreign currencies in its $630 billion reserve holdings. ban of some financial institutions from the Swift messaging system for international payments; and punishing some Russian elites with close ties to Putin.

The US also ordered a ban on Russian oil imports – something President Biden warned would hurt Americans at the pump.

“Defending freedom will be costly,” Biden said when announcing the sentence.

A demonstrator holds a sign reading “Abramović cannot be Portuguese” during a protest against the Russian invasion and in solidarity with the Ukrainian people in front of the Russian Embassy in Lisbon on Sunday, February 27, 2022. (AP Photo/Ana Brigida/AP Newsroom)

European countries have also discussed reducing their dependence on Russia for natural gas and oil. Moscow supplies about 40% of the gas consumed by Europe.

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Reducing Europe’s dependence on Russian energy in recent days has been a “significant” and “intense back and forth” theme, White House National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan told reporters aboard Air Force One bound for Brussels, according to Reuters.

Sullivan said Biden will share some news on the issue with European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen on Friday.

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