U.S. announces new Russia sanctions in response to Ukraine annexation

President Joe Biden speaks during the First State Democratic Dinner in Dover, Delaware.Saul Loeb | AFP | Getty ImagesWASHINGTON – The Biden administration announced new economic sanctions on hundreds of Russian officials and entities Friday in response to the Kremlin’s illegal annexation of four regions of Ukraine.The new sanctions target several front companies outside of Russia that were created this year to help major Russian military suppliers evade the sanctions they had already faced.The new designations also expand sanctions on top Kremlin officials to include their wives and adult children. After seven months of war and economic sanctions, these revisions offer a window into what U.S. officials believe is working.The Treasury Department named 14 international suppliers that assisted Russia’s military supply chains. It also imposed designations on 109 members of Russia’s State Duma and 169 members of the Federation Council of the Federal Assembly of the Russian Federation.  Also new on Friday is the addition of Elvira Sakhipzadovna Nabiullina, Russia’s central bank governor and a former advisor to Putin. Since 2013, she has overseen its efforts to protect the Kremlin from Western sanctions after Russia illegally seized Crimea in 2014, according to the Treasury Department.The newly sanctioned family members are the relatives of members of Russia’s National Security Council. They include Russian Prime Minister Mikhail Mishustin’s wife and two adult children, along with Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu’s wife and adult children.Meanwhile, the State Department will impose visa restrictions on Ochur-Suge Mongush, for a gross violation of human rights perpetrated against a Ukrainian prisoner of war and 910 individuals. The department will also impose visa restrictions on members of the Russian military, Belarusian military officials and proxies operating on behalf of the Kremlin.What’s more, the Department of Commerce is adding 57 entities to its export controls list. It will reiterate that countries that seek to provide material support to Russia and Belarus’ defense sector are subject to penalties.In announcing the annexations Friday in Moscow, Russian President Vladimir Putin declared that “There are four new regions of Russia,” referring to the Ukrainian regions of Donetsk, Luhansk, Zaporizhzhia and Kherson.Putin cited sham referendum votes held in Russian-occupied areas, saying voters approved becoming parts of Russia. Those votes are widely viewed by Western officials as rigged and illegitimate.”The results are known, well known,” said Putin.President of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelenskyy visits the Kharkiv region for the first time since Russia started the attacks against his country on February 24, in Kharkiv region, Ukraine on May 29, 2022.(Photo by Ukrainian Presidency/Handout/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images)Ukrainian Presidency | Anadolu Agency | Getty ImagesEarlier this week, the White House said the U.S. would never acknowledge the results of the “sham referendum” and would continue providing Ukraine with military and humanitarian support.On Wednesday, the Biden administration announced $1.1 billion in additional security assistance for Ukraine. The upcoming aid package, the 22nd such installment, brings U.S. commitment to more than $16.2 billion since Russia’s invasion in late February.On the heels of Putin’s address, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy, who has not left his war-weary nation since Russia’s full-throttle invasion in February, said he will submit an ‘accelerated’ application to join the NATO military alliance. “We have already made our way to NATO, we have already proven compatibility with alliance standards,” Zelenskyy said on the Telegram messaging app, referencing requirements to join the 30-member bloc.”We are taking our decisive step by signing Ukraine’s application for accelerated accession to NATO,” he added.

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