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US Announces Sanctions on 500 Russian Targets to Commemorate Ukraine War Anniversary

The United States is set to enact sanctions on more than 500 entities this Friday, commemorating the second anniversary of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, as conveyed by Deputy US Treasury Secretary Wally Adeyemo in an interview with Reuters on Thursday.

Navalny's Death
Navalny’s Death

In collaboration with other nations, this initiative will focus on sanctioning Russia’s military-industrial complex and businesses in third-party nations that enable Russia’s procurement of desired goods, Adeyemo explained. This move underscores Washington’s commitment to holding Russia responsible for its actions in the ongoing conflict and the death of opposition leader Alexei Navalny.

A substantial number of sanctions are set to be revealed tomorrow, specifically within the United States. However, it’s imperative to acknowledge that this is not solely an American endeavor,” emphasized Adeyemo.

The upcoming package signifies the latest installment in the extensive array of sanctions imposed on Moscow by both the United States and its allies in response to Russia’s 2022 invasion of Ukraine. This invasion has inflicted significant casualties, claiming tens of thousands of lives and causing widespread devastation to numerous cities

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The imposition of these new penalties occurs as the US and its allies strive to sustain pressure on Russia, despite uncertainties surrounding the approval of further security assistance for Kyiv by the US Congress.

President Joe Biden’s administration has depleted previously allocated funds for Ukraine, with a request for additional financial support stalled in the Republican-controlled House of Representatives.

“Sanctions and export controls are aimed at impeding Russia’s progress, making it more challenging for them to pursue their chosen conflict in Ukraine,” remarked Adeyemo.

“However, to expedite Ukraine’s defense capabilities and empower them to protect themselves, Congress must act swiftly to provide the necessary resources and weaponry,” he added.

Nevertheless, experts caution that sanctions alone may not suffice to deter Moscow’s aggressive actions.

“The crucial factor lies in what actions Congress takes to authorize additional military aid to Ukraine; this will have a far greater impact than any measures solely focused on sanctions,” noted Peter Harrell, a former National Security Council official.

In December, the Treasury Department reported that Russia’s economy had been adversely affected by the sanctions, experiencing a contraction of 2.1% in 2022.

According to Rachel Lyngaas, the Chief Sanctions Economist at the Treasury, Russia’s economy now stands over 5% smaller than previously anticipated.

However, despite these challenges, Russia’s economy has outperformed expectations. The International Monetary Fund (IMF) forecasted a 2.6% GDP growth for 2024 in January, marking a 1.5 percentage point increase from the October estimate. This growth follows a solid 3.0% expansion in 2023.

Yet, IMF spokesperson Julie Kozack cautioned on Thursday that Russia is now operating within a “war economy.” Military expenditures are driving up weapons production, while government social transfers are sustaining consumption. Additionally, inflation is on the rise, despite declines observed elsewhere.

Also Read “Biden meets family of Putin critic Alexei Navalny, describing him as a man of incredible courage.”

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