US Targets Russia's 120 Financial Facilitators

The U.S. Department of State and the Department of Treasury have imposed sanctions on more than 120 entities and individuals across more than 20 countries and jurisdictions who are mainly financial facilitators of Russia’s war on Ukraine.

Announcing the sanctions, U.S. Secretry Of State Antony Blinken said that more than one year into the invasion of Ukraine, the effects of globally coordinated sanctions have forced Russia to search for alternate routes to finance and fuel its war machine.

In coordination with the United Kingdom, the United States is imposing sanctions evasion network supporting one of Russia’s wealthiest billionaires, Alisher Usmanov, who has close ties with Russian President Vladimir Putin. In addition, the State Department targeted USM Holding, the primary entity through which Usmanov owns and controls the majority of his companies.

The Treasury said that its Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) revoked Russia-related General License 15, which had authorized transactions involving any entity owned 50 percent by Usmanov that was not listed on OFAC’s Specially Designated Nationals and Blocked Persons List (SDN List).

It also sanctioned two Russian entities that support Russia’s efforts to undermine the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Ukraine through the militarization and indoctrination of schoolchildren: The All Russian Children’s and Youth Military Patriotic Public Movement Youth Army, and the State Budgetary Educational Institution of Additional Education of the Republic of Crimea Crimea Patriot Center.

US also targeted several firms operating in the defense sector of Russia’s economy, including a new Russian private military company and a China-based firm that has provided satellite imagery of locations in Ukraine to entities affiliated with pro-Putin Wagner private military company that is fighting in Ukraine.

Additional persons associated with the Russian State Atomic Energy Corporation, Rosatom, also were sanctioned for using energy exports, including in the nuclear sector, to exert political and economic pressure on its customers globally.

OFAC is designating 25 individuals and 29 entities to curb Russia’s access to the international financial system through facilitators and their businesses, and to further disrupt Russia’s import of critical technologies used in the war.

It includes the International Investment Bank (IIB), a Russia-controlled financial institution in Hungary, and Moscow-based Joint Stock Company IIB Capital, the IIB’s fully owned subsidiary in Russia. The IIB’s presence in Budapest enables Russia to increase its intelligence presence in Europe, opens the door for the Kremlin’s malign influence activities in Central Europe and the Western Balkans, the Treasury said.

Additionally, the U.S. Department of Commerce said it will take concurrent action to add 28 companies to its Entity List.

“As the Kremlin seeks ways around the expansive multilateral sanctions and export controls imposed on Russia for its war against Ukraine, the United States and our allies and partners will continue to disrupt evasion schemes that support Putin on the battlefield,” said Under Secretary of the Treasury for Terrorism and Financial Intelligence Brian E. Nelson. “Today’s action underscores our dedication to implementing the G7 commitment to impose severe costs on third-country actors who support Russia’s war,” he added.

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