Treasury hits Russia with new sanctions targeting tech and evasion networks

Among the firms sanctioned is Moscow-based OOO Serniya Engineering, which the Treasury says is at the center of an illicit network operating under the direction of Russia’s intelligence service to help evade sanctions. The company worked with a number of front companies in various countries, including the UK and Spain, to acquire critical Western technology for Russia’s defense sector, the Treasury said.

The Treasury also designated a large number of people associated with Serniya, including its top executives and board members, as well as leaders of its affiliated shell companies, such as Moscow-based OOO Robin Treid, Majory LLP, and Moscow-based Photon Pro LLP. United Kingdom, and Invention Puente SL in Spain. UK officials are also cracking down on companies within their jurisdiction, the Treasury said.

“Russia not only continues to violate Ukraine’s sovereignty with its unprovoked aggression, it has also stepped up its attacks on civilians and population centers,” Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen said in a statement. “We will continue to target Putin’s war machine with sanctions from all angles, until this pointless war of choice ends.”

Treasury Deputy Secretary Wally Adeyemo said this week in London that the United States and its allies were planning new sanctions against Russian supply chains and economic sectors that play a key role in the war in Ukraine.

Western sanctions imposed early in the invasion have hit Russia’s economy, initially sending its currency into free fall and forcing the central bank to clamp down to prop up the ruble. Those steps, along with rising oil prices that have boosted Russia’s energy revenues, have helped stabilize the currency in recent days and prompted calls for even tougher sanctions to undermine President Vladimir Putin’s ability to finance the war.

The latest measures announced by the Treasury include new sanctions on Russia’s tech sector, including AO NII Vektor, a St. Petersburg-based software company that has backed satellite systems for Russia, likely to be used to track ships, aircraft and ground vehicles. during the invasion. Treasury said.

The United States is also sanctioning the Mikron joint-stock company, Russia’s largest chipmaker, responsible for 50 percent of Russia’s microelectronics exports. The company helped develop Russia’s National Payment Card System, which was created after previous rounds of sanctions against the country.

The Treasury has added Russia’s aerospace, maritime and electronics sectors to the group of industries it can quickly sanction, including financial services, technology and defense.

Finally, it imposed sanctions on Russians who were involved in an August 2017 cyberattack on a Middle Eastern petrochemical facility, including senior officials at the Russian Central Scientific Research Institute of Chemistry and Mechanics.

Daniel Tannebaum, global head of sanctions at management consulting firm Oliver Wyman, said it’s not immediately clear how hard the latest sanctions will hit Russian companies, but the impact won’t be quick.

“Supply chain sanctions are a marathon,” he said, “since it will take time for Russian companies and the defense sector to feel the disruption these restrictions are supposed to create.”

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