US warns of sanctions against those providing ammunition to Russia

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The United States on Friday warned it can impose sanctions on people, countries and companies that provide ammunition to Russia or support its military-industrial complex, as Washington seeks to increase pressure on Moscow over the war in Ukraine.

Deputy Treasury Secretary Wally Adeyemo, at a gathering of officials from 32 countries to discuss sanctions on Russia, said the department will issue guidance on Friday making clear that Washington is willing and able to impose such a crackdown.

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“This morning, Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control is issuing guidance making clear that we are willing and able to sanction people, companies, or countries that provide ammunition to Russia or support Russia’s military-industrial complex,” Adeyemo said in remarks ahead of the meeting,

The first such gathering on sanctions on Russia included officials from countries in the European Union, Canada and South Korea, among others.

In addition, Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) and the Department of Commerce’s Bureau of Industry and Security will outline actions that have been taken against Russia’s military-industrial complex and note the risks those providing material support for Russia’s invasion of Ukraine face, he added.

The United States at the meeting will also warn that Russia is “expending munitions at an unsustainable rate” and turning to countries like Iran and North Korea for supplies and equipment, including, drones, rockets and artillery munitions, according to a copy of the presentation from Morgan Muir, deputy director of national intelligence for mission integration, seen by Reuters.

The export control measures imposed by Washington and a coalition of over 30 countries have had an impact, according to the presentation, with the defense industry reliant on imported microelectronics and other parts. A critical shortage of bearings is undermining the production of tanks, aircraft, submarines and other military systems, the presentation noted.

Muir was also set to warn that Russian intelligence services are tasked with illicitly acquiring Western technology and parts barred from being exported to Russia under US measures.

The network used to acquire the technology includes oligarchs, proxies and front companies, and targets Europe and North America as a priority, according to the presentation.

The Commerce Department has previously warned that semiconductors produced by Western companies have turned up in Russian military drones and other uses.

Earlier this year, Washington imposed sweeping new restrictions on shipments to Russia of US and foreign goods, if made with US equipment or technology, in an effort to degrade Russia’s military and industrial sectors.

The measures are part of several rafts of sanctions imposed by Washington and its partners on Russia in response to its Feb. 24 invasion of Ukraine, which has killed or wounded thousands and reduced cities to rubble.

Asked how much more Western allies could do to increase pressure on Russia, one European finance official said, “We can extend the list of people who are under sanctions. We can extend the number of goods that have export restrictions.”

“But I think clearly the sanctions will show their impact in terms of industrial value chains in Russia,” the European official said, speaking on condition of anonymity. “The impact on the automobile sector, the aeronautic sector is quite clear.”

Read more: US to send munitions, Humvees to Ukraine in $725 mln aid package: Officials

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