The United States has announced sweeping sanctions aimed at increasing economic pressure on Russia and reducing Moscow’s access to critical technologies such as semiconductors, as the war in Ukraine enters its second year.
In a statement on Friday, the White House said the sanctions, which target sectors including banks and the defense industry, affect more than 200 individuals and entities, including both Russians and third-country actors across Europe, Asia, and the Middle East who support Russia.
Among those subject to new sanctions — which come on top of multiple layers of previous measures imposed over the last 12 months — will be “a dozen Russian financial institutions, in alignment with allies and partners, as well as Russian officials and proxy authorities illegitimately operating in Ukraine,” the White House said.
US announces $2bn in new Ukraine military aid as war completes a year
The United States is preparing a fresh military aid package to Ukraine worth $2 billion, a senior US official has said, defying repeated warnings from Moscow as the war completes one year.
The set of measures would also curb Moscow’s ability to circumvent previous sanctions.
“Today’s action will result in increased tariffs on more than 100 Russian metals, minerals, and chemical products worth approximately $2.8 billion to Russia. It will also significantly increase costs for aluminum that was smelted or cast in Russia to enter the US market,” the White House said.
NATO’s continued support for Ukraine
In the statement on the occasion of the anniversary of the beginning of the Russia-Ukraine war, NATO military alliance said it is increasing its political and practical support to Ukraine and will continue the aid as long as it is necessary.
“We are further stepping up political and practical support to Ukraine as it defends itself against Russia’s invasion, and will maintain our support for as long as necessary to help Ukraine prevail. In this context, NATO will continue to coordinate closely with relevant stakeholders, including international organizations, in particular the EU, as well as like-minded countries,” the statement reads.
NATO countries “remain determined to maintain coordinated international pressure on Russia.” They “are significantly strengthening our deterrence and defense posture” and “remain ready to defend every inch of Allied territory,” the statement added.
The United Nations General Assembly has voted in favor of a resolution that demands Russia withdraw its troops from Ukraine.
EU leaders announce strong support for Ukraine
Meanwhile, the European Council, which brings together European national leaders, announced in a statement that the European Union will not rest until Ukraine wins the war.
The council has emphasized that it will continue to support Kiev, along with its international partners, until it ensures that Ukraine will win against Russia.
European Justice Commissioner Didier Reynders and European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen previously said that European and international laws do not provide for the seizure of sovereign assets of countries. However, both officials added that the European Union is looking into legal avenues to confiscate frozen Russian assets.
“We will further increase collective pressure on Russia to end its war of aggression. To this end, we will adopt a tenth sanctions package and we will take steps against those who attempt to circumvent EU measures,” the statement by the Members of the European Council said.
Von der Leyen had previously announced that the package would take effect on February 24.