Jeff Mason and Steve Holland
WILMINGTON, Delis (Reuters) – The United States on Sunday announced sanctions against three Russian TV channels, banned Americans from providing accounting and consulting services to Russians, and imposed sanctions on Gazprom executives to punish Moscow for invading Ukraine.
The new sanctions are the latest attempt by the United States to increase pressure on Russian President Vladimir Putin following his country’s attack on Ukraine and emerged during President Joe Biden’s virtual meeting with G7 leaders and Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky to discuss the war.
The measures taken against Gazprombank executives were the first against the giant Russian gas exporter, as the United States and its allies shied away from steps that could lead to disruptions in gas supplies to Europe, Russia’s main customer.
“It’s not a complete block. We do not freeze Gazprombank’s assets and do not ban any operations with Gazprombank, ”a high-ranking representative of the Biden administration told reporters. “We are signaling that Gazprombank is not a safe haven, and so we are sanctioning some of their top managers … to create a blatant effect.”
The sanctions list includes eight heads of Sberbank, which owns a third of Russia’s banking assets. Also added is the Moscow Industrial Bank and its 10 subsidiaries.
The new restrictions on export controls were aimed at directly undermining Putin’s military efforts, including control over industrial engines, bulldozers, lumber, engines and fans. The European Union is moving in tandem with additional controls on chemicals that are directly part of Russia’s military efforts, the official said.
Russia calls its actions in Ukraine a “special operation”, which, according to her, is not intended to occupy the territory, but to destroy the military potential of the southern neighbor and capture those who consider themselves dangerous nationalists. Ukraine and its allies claim that Russia has started an unprovoked war.
The sanctions targeted the limited liability company Promtechnologiya, a weapons manufacturer, as well as seven shipping companies and a sea tow. The White House also said that the Nuclear Regulatory Commission will suspend licenses for the export of special nuclear materials to Russia.
The sanctioned stations are directly or indirectly controlled by the state, the White House said, and include Russia’s First Channel, Russia-1, and NTV.
Americans will be barred from providing Russians with accounting, trust, and corporate formation, as well as management consulting services, although the provision of legal services is still permissible.