The symbolic charge of Joe Biden’s visit to Ukraine and Poland on the eve of the first anniversary of the Russian invasion translates into concrete measures when the anniversary arrives. The United States has announced this Friday, February 24, new measures in two directions: on the one hand, more economic and military support for Ukraine to resist; on the other, more economic punishment to Russia for its aggression, with sanctions, export controls and tariffs.
The sanctions come in coordination with the G-7. The leaders of the world’s most industrialized democratic countries, who meet this Friday, plan to approve a coordination mechanism to ensure that sanctions on Russia are applied effectively. The United States will chair that new mechanism for the first year. Russia’s sovereign assets in the G-7 countries and their allies will remain immobilized and new economic pressure measures will be approved against Russia’s energy, raw materials, financial and defense and industrial sectors.
The United States will quickly implement these new commitments with extensive sanctions on the Russian economy to lessen its ability to wage war against Ukraine. Sanctions will be imposed on more than 200 individuals and entities, both Russian and from third countries in Europe, Asia and the Middle East, who support Russia’s war efforts.
Subsequently, Washington has specified that the sanctions package includes a dozen financial institutions, including Russia’s largest non-state public bank, importers of microelectronics and producers of carbon fiber, a key material for defense systems. The package names more than 30 individuals and companies allegedly linked to the evasion of Russian sanctions. Among them are the Italian-Swiss businessman Walter Moretti and his companies; Nurmurad Kurbanov, a Russian-Turkish arms dealer who has allegedly represented Russian and Belarusian defense companies abroad; and Russian businessman Aleksandr Yevgenyevich Udodov, a former brother-in-law of Russian Prime Minister Mikhail Mishustin.
In addition, the Department of Commerce has taken several export control measures this Friday, with the inclusion of nearly 90 Russian companies and third-country companies, including China, on a list of entities banned for participating in sanctions evasion and activities in support of Russia’s defense sector. These lists will prohibit the companies in question from buying items such as semiconductors made in the United States or with certain technology or software American abroad. Restrictions will also be placed to prevent the use of certain components in Iranian drones used in Ukraine.
Biden is also preparing to increase tariffs on Russian products. The measures are designed to target Russian staples (metals, oil, coal, natural gas…) that generate revenue for the Kremlin, while reducing America’s dependence on Russia. “These measures are carefully calibrated to impose costs on Russia, while minimizing costs for American consumers. The measures taken today will increase tariffs on more than 100 Russian metals, minerals and chemical products worth approximately $2.8 billion. [unos 2.650 millones de euros] for Russia,” says the White House. The entry into the US of aluminum smelted or cast in Russia will also be significantly taxed (at a rate of 200%), in order to offset the damage to the domestic aluminum industry, hit by energy costs as a result of the war. . The aluminum tariff will apply from March 10.
The other side of the coin is support for Ukraine, both military and economic. In terms of security, in addition to other supplies already announced, the Department of Defense approves a new package of 2,000 million dollars (1,890 million euros) that includes drones, anti-drone systems to reinforce Ukraine’s air defenses and war detection equipment electronics. The new package also includes a large amount of ammunition for the 155mm artillery systems and the High Mobility Artillery Rocket Systems (HIMARS), as well as mine clearance equipment and equipment to support secure communications.
In addition, as part of efforts to respond to Russian attacks on Ukraine’s critical energy infrastructure, the United States is preparing to deliver the Department of Energy’s third shipment of critical electrical transmission grid equipment to Ukraine in early March. The shipment will include several mobile generators to help provide standby power. This delivery follows the recent supply by the US of a natural gas turbine mobile power station that can generate enough electricity to power at least 100,000 Ukrainian homes.