Mon, 23 May 2022

Gazprombank executives, Russian TV face US sanctions

Robert Besser
10 May 2022, 21:05 GMT+10

WASHINGTON D.C.: To punish Moscow for its invasion of Ukraine, the U.S. has announced new sanctions against three Russian television stations and executives from Gazprombank, and banned Americans from providing accounting and consulting services to Russian businesses.

The new sanctions are part of the latest efforts to increase pressure on Russian President Vladimir Putin, and came as President Joe Biden met virtually with G7 leaders and Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky to discuss the war.

As the U.S. and its allies have avoided disruptions to gas supplies to Europe, Russia's main customer, the sanctions against Gazprombank executives were the first against a major Russian gas exporter.

Meanwhile, a senior Biden administration official told reporters, "This is not a full block. We are not freezing the assets of Gazprombank or prohibiting any transactions with Gazprombank. What we are signaling is that Gazprombank is not a safe haven."

Eight executives from Sberbank, which holds one-third of Russia's banking assets, were added to the sanctions list, along with Moscow Industrial Bank and its ten subsidiaries.

The new export control restrictions, including restrictions on exports of industrial engines, bulldozers, wood products, motors and fans, aim to degrade Putin's Ukraine war.

The EU is moving in tandem with additional controls on chemicals that feed directly into the Russian military effort, the official added.

According to Russia, its actions in Ukraine are a "special military operation" not intended to occupy territory, but to destroy Ukraine's military capabilities.

In response, Ukraine and its allies have repeated that Russia launched an unprovoked war.

Weapons maker Limited Liability Company Promtekhnologiya was also sanctioned, along with seven shipping companies and a marine towing company.

The Nuclear Regulatory Commission is also suspending licenses for exporting special nuclear material to Russia, the White House said, adding that the sanctioned television stations are directly or indirectly state-controlled and include Joint Stock Company Channel One Russia, Television Station Russia-1, and Joint Stock Company NTV Broadcasting Company.

While providing legal services is still allowed, Americans will be prohibited from offering accounting, trust and corporate formation, and management consulting services to Russians.

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