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U.S. slaps sanctions on Russia over annexation of swath of Ukraine

Russia declared the annexations after holding what it called ‘referendums’ in occupied areas of Ukraine

September 30, 2022 10:43 pm | Updated 10:43 pm IST - WASHINGTON:

U.S. Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen. File.

U.S. Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen. File. | Photo Credit: Reuters

The United States on Friday imposed sweeping Russia-related sanctions on hundreds of people and companies, including members of Russia’s legislature, military and central bank, in response to Moscow’s declaration that it had annexed a swath of Ukraine.

The U.S. Treasury Department said it imposed sanctions on 14 people in Russia's military-industrial complex, two leaders of the country's central bank, family members of top officials and 278 members of Russia's legislature "for enabling Russia's sham referenda and attempt to annex sovereign Ukrainian territory."

The Treasury also issued guidance warning of heightened sanctions risk to those outside Russia should they provide political or economic support to Moscow.

The United States acted after Russian President Vladimir Putin on Friday proclaimed the biggest annexation in Europe since World War Two, declaring Russian rule over 15% of Ukraine.

Russia declared the annexations after holding what it called ’referendums’ in occupied areas of Ukraine. Western governments and Kyiv said the votes breached international law and were coercive and non-representative.

“We will not stand by as Putin fraudulently attempts to annex parts of Ukraine,” Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen said in a statement.

Among those targeted with sanctions by the United States on Friday was Russian Deputy Prime Minister Alexander Novak and 278 members of Russia's legislature.

The U.S State Department also imposed visa restrictions on more than 900 people, including members of the Russian and Belarusian military and “Russia’s proxies for violating Ukraine’s sovereignty, territorial integrity, and political independence.”

In a related move, the U.S. Commerce Department is adding 57 entities to its U.S. export blacklist. The agency will also make clear that U.S. restrictions on exports to Russia can apply to entities in other countries that support Russia’s and Belarus’ military and industrial sectors by shipping prohibited technologies and other items prohibited by the United States and the 37 countries with similar restrictions.

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