U.S. targets Russia’s technology sector in fresh sanctions

A general view of Moscow International Business centre also known as Moskva City, just after sunset in Moscow
A general view of Moscow International Business centre also known as Moskva City, just after sunset in Moscow, Russia March 19, 2022. REUTERS/Maxim Shemetov

March 31, 2022

By Daphne Psaledakis

WASHINGTON (Reuters) -The United States on Thursday imposed fresh sanctions on Russia, targeting the technology sector, a sanctions evasion network and what it called “malicious cyber actors” while paving the way to act against additional sectors in response to President Vladimir Putin’s assault on Ukraine.

“We will continue to target Putin’s war machine with sanctions from every angle, until this senseless war of choice is over,” Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen said in a statement.

The Treasury Department imposed sanctions on 21 entities and 13 people, including Joint Stock Company Mikron, Russia’s largest chipmaker and manufacturer and exporter of microelectronics.

Washington also determined that three new sectors in the Russian economy are subject to sanctions under an existing executive order, allowing the United States to slap punitive measures on any person or entity operating in the aerospace, marine and electronics sectors.

Thursday’s actions freeze any U.S. assets of those targeted and generally bar Americans from dealing with them.

Those targeted include Moscow-based Serniya Engineering and equipment maker Sertal, both of which the Treasury Department accused of working to illicitly procure equipment and technology for Russia’s defense sector that can double for civilian use.

The Treasury imposed sanctions on the two companies alongside other firms and people, accusing them of being part of a sanctions evasion network.

The Russian embassy in Washington and Mikron did not immediately respond to requests for comment on the measures. Serniya and Sertal could not immediately be reached for comment.

Washington has imposed sanctions several times over the five weeks since Russia launched the biggest assault on a European state since World War Two. Moscow calls it a “special operation.”

Western nations will try to find new grounds for sanctions on Russia, Putin said on Thursday, adding that his country must aim to retain jobs and to create new ones.

(Reporting by Daphne Psaledakis and Chris Gallagher; Editing by Howard Goller)