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US, Canada impose sanctions against Wagner Group and Russia’s access to war supplies

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The United States on Thursday imposed Russia-related sanctions against nearly 120 individuals and entities aimed at blocking Moscow’s access to electronics and other goods that aid its war against Ukraine, the Treasury and State departments announced.

The new measures also are designed to “reduce Russia’s revenue from the metals and mining sector, undermine its future energy capabilities and degrade Russia’s access to the international financial system,” Treasury said in a statement.

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“Today’s actions represent another step in our efforts to constrain Russia’s military capabilities, its access to battlefield supplies, and its economic bottom line,” Deputy Treasury Secretary Wally Adeyemo said in the statement.

The Russian embassy in Washington DC did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

A State Department fact sheet said those targeted included a Russian and a North Korean national - Yong Hyok Rim - linked to Yevgeniy Prigozhin, the mutinous leader of the Wagner mercenary organization, for helping to supply munitions to Russia.

Also hit, it said, were two other private Russian military companies, including Okhrana, owned by Kremlin-controlled energy giant Gazprom.

Six Russian deputy ministers, a deputy director of the FSB security service and the Smolensk region governor were targeted, State said.

The sanctions freeze any US properties, or interests in US property, owned by those targeted and generally bar transactions with them by US nationals or people in the United States.

The measures “further hold Russia accountable for its illegal invasion of Ukraine and degrade its capability to support its war efforts,” Secretary of State Antony Blinken said in a statement.

The measures stem from commitments to aid Ukraine by G7 leaders and are intended to disrupt Moscow’s efforts to evade sanctions by obtaining foreign-made electronics, technology and other goods through third-parties and transhipment points outside of Russia, Treasury said.

Many of the entities targeted have transferred electronic components to Russia that have been found in Russian weapons systems used against Ukraine, it said.

They included LLC RM Design and Development, a firm based in the Krygyz Republic that Treasury called “a prolific shipper” to Russian recipients of goods with civilian and military uses.

Three other Kryrgyz Republic-based firms, and the Russian owner of one, were sanctioned, Treasury said.

The measures, it said, targeted nearly a dozen Russian entities that import foreign-made dual-use technologies, and nearly 30 Russian weapons producers and institutes involved in defense research.

Five Russian financial institutions were sanctioned as part of an effort to “degrade” Russia’s access to the international financial system, the Treasury said.

Canada’s sanctions on Wagner

Canada is also imposing sanctions against a total of 39 Russians and 25 Russian entities in the latest round of measures designed to punish Moscow for the Ukraine invasion, Foreign Minister Melanie Joly said.

In a statement, Joly said some of the sanctions would target leading members of the Wagner Group paramilitary force, which has been heavily involved in the Ukraine war as well as taking part in fighting in Africa.

(With Reuters)

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