U.S. imposes new sanctions on Russia

As Russia-Ukraine conflict enters second year in February 2024, United States and European Union have jointly announced sweeping additional sanctions encompassing over 500 fresh punitive measures targeting Moscow for the aggression which has upset global peace.

Scale of Latest US Sanctions

The American sanctions cover a range of economic and strategic areas like Russian financial networks (Mir payment system), military supply chains, technology sectors, future energy production and other areas. They amount to largest single tranche of sanctions since the invasion.

EU Trade and Travel Restrictions

In a coordinated move, EU also unveiled bans on export of drone parts, restrictions on residency rights of Russian nationals and wider trade curbs on steel, rubber items mostly used for non-civilian applications as part of 10th sanctions package.
The 27-nation bloc also targeted several Russian officials, including members of the judiciary, local politicians and people it said were “responsible for the illegal deportation and military re-education of Ukrainian children.”

Cause and Effect Factors

Proximate triggers include Russia’s continued obdurate military attacks against Ukraine despite global appeals and widely condemned death of jailed opposition leader Navalny in a penal colony highlighting Moscow’s human rights violations.

Response to Navalny’s Death

In specific response to Navalny’s death, the State Department targeted three Russian officials, whom the U.S. says are connected to his death, including the deputy director of Russia’s Federal Penitentiary Service, who was promoted by Putin to the rank of colonel general

Focus on War Enablers

The sanctions attempt choking external supply chains propping Russia’s military machinery using smuggling networks and middlemen spanning Europe, Americas and Asia now facing US court cases revealing elaborate mechanisms that kept Russian artillery firing on Ukraine.
The United States later also imposed sanctions on Russia’s leading tanker group, Sovcomflot, accusing it of being involved in violating the G7’s price cap on Russian oil. As many as 14 crude oil tankers in which it has an interest, were also targeted.

Aimed at Behavior Change

The US and EU expect persistent economic squeeze may compel Russian climbdown although political rhetoric continues discounting costs borne by ordinary citizens.
As Russia-Ukraine conflict heads into prolonged grind, expanded western sanctions display long term strategic stamina for imposing consequences on Moscow while nourishing hopes conflict dynamics may force eventual pragmatic shift.


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