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White House details new sanctions on Russian and Belarusian entities, including targeting Russian oil refining

The White House on Wednesday detailed a new slate of economic measures levied against Russia and its ally Belarus, blasting Belarus for “enabling (Russian President Vladimir) Putin’s invasion of Ukraine.”

Among Wednesday’s actions are new restrictions extending export control policies to Belarus and preventing diversion of tech and software to Russia through the country, which the administration said “will severely limit the ability of Russia and Belarus to obtain the materials they need to support their military aggression against Ukraine, project power in ways that threaten regional stability and undermine global peace and security.”

In addition, the US and allies are identifying 22 Russian “defense-related entities,” including firms that provide technological and material support for Russia’s military.

The US and allies are also targeting “technology exports” in the oil refining sector, which they say could help the US move towards its goal of “degrading Russia’s status as a leading energy supplier over time.”

“The United States and our Allies and partners do not have a strategic interest in reducing the global supply of energy — which is why we have carved out energy payments from our financial sanctions,” the White House said in a statement, adding that sanctions on the oil refining industry will harm the Russian oil industry while still protecting American consumers.

The US also details new sanctions on entities affiliated with Russian and Belarusian military forces and points to President Joe Biden’s announcement Tuesday night banning Russian aircrafts from domestic US airspace.

In a statement announcing Wednesday’s additional sanctions, Commerce Secretary Gina Raimondo called accounts coming out of Ukraine “heart wrenching — both due to the brutality of the Russian assault, and for the amazing resolve of the Ukrainian people.”

“Their resilience in the face of unimaginable aggression has galvanized a robust international response. The Commerce Department will continue to lead strong, coordinated action with our global allies and partners to apply maximum pressure on Russia, its enabler Belarus, and any other parties that may seek to support them,” she said.


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