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US hits Russia, Belarus with new sanctions

Russia Ukraine War
Posted at 2:26 PM, Mar 02, 2022
and last updated 2022-03-02 14:27:17-05

WASHINGTON — The White House has announced additional sanctions against Russia and its ally Belarus, including extending export controls that target Russian oil refining and entities supporting the Russian and Belarusian military.

Among Wednesday's new measures are sanctions targeting 22 Russian defense entities that make combat aircraft, infantry fighting vehicles, electronic warfare systems, missiles, and unmanned aerial vehicles for Russia’s military.

The U.S. Commerce Department also announced additional export controls on oil and gas extraction equipment that would hurt Russia’s refining capacity over the long term.

The Biden administration, and Western allies, have largely stayed away from hitting the Russian energy sector to avoid causing tremors to the global supply of energy. The White House, however, said in a statement that U.S. and allies “share a strong interest in degrading Russia’s status as a leading energy supplier over time.”

The latest sanctions imposed on Wednesday include the U.S. closing off its air space to all Russian flights. President Joe Biden previewed that he would make the move in his State of the Union address.

In addition, the White House said it's going after Russian President Vladimir Putin's richest allies.

"The United States and governments all over the world are going after Putin’s cronies and their families by identifying and freezing the assets they hold in our respective jurisdictions – their yachts, luxury apartments, money, and other ill-gotten gains," the White House said in a statement.