(PatriotWise.com) — The US has enacted a fresh round of sanctions against Russian firms and individuals. Secretary of State Antony Blinken said America will continue to take action “against Russia and those supporting its war in Ukraine.” More than 120 people and businesses have been targeted.
The sanctions are directed toward telecommunications companies in Russia, but Blinken made it clear that third-party countries are also on the radar. Russian Uzbek businessman Alisher Usmanov is named as a primary target. The Treasury Department said he commands a “wide network of businesses … through which to conduct financial transactions, enabling him to potentially circumvent sanctions.”
USM-owned MegaFon, a Russian telecommunications company, is also named. Its spokesman said, “We are a commercial company providing millions of clients with services of high social significance. We will dispute these restrictions by all means available to us.”
It is the first time sanctions are directed toward communications.
The measures will be added to a number already imposed on Moscow last year. Sanctions were placed on 278 Russian Parliament members by the US in September, while the European Union banned imports from Russia as well as the export of high-tech products. Banks in the US and the UK barred Russian firms from borrowing money and limited the deposits Russian citizens can make in British banks.
The Russian ambassador to the United States said the sanctions will have no impact.
Russia invaded Ukraine in February 2022 and the US has given more than $50 billion in aid to the Ukrainian cause. The European Commission donated around $35 billion. There has been some disquiet in Europe about the amount provided to Ukraine while people face a cost of living crisis. In America, House Speaker Kevin McCarthy said Republicans would no longer agree to write a “blank check” for Ukraine while Americans struggle to pay their bills. His comments exposed a divide in the GOP response. Hours after McCarthy had spoken, Texas Rep. Michael McCaul said, “We’ve got to give them what they need. When we give them what they need, they win.”
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