Ukraine’s western allies have unveiled a swath of new sanctions targeting Russia’s military, industrial capacity and financial sector as they vow to increase pressure on Vladimir Putin.
As Ukraine marked the first anniversary of the invasion on Friday, the UK and US announced new measures against hundreds of groups and individuals including Russian banks and defence companies, while the EU and Japan prepared their own sanctions hitting Moscow’s war economy.
G7 leaders will hold a virtual summit with President Volodymyr Zelenskyy on Friday.
“We must keep giving Ukraine the means to defend itself until the Russians end this war and leave Ukraine,” said Ursula von der Leyen, the European Commission president, on a visit to Estonia.
The White House said US sanctions would target more than 200 entities and people from Russia and countries in Europe, Asia and the Middle East, including China.
The measures, which Washington said were intended to “further degrade Russia’s economy and diminish its ability to wage war against Ukraine”, will include 12 Russian financial institutions and actors connected with Russian defence groups.
The commerce department also added almost 90 companies from Russia, China and other countries to its “entity list” — a blacklist that effectively bars them from buying US technology for potential use in Russia’s defence sector. The White House said the blacklisting would prevent the groups from acquiring semiconductors made with US technology.
The Pentagon announced a further $2bn of assistance for Ukraine, including unmanned aerial systems, counter-unmanned aerial systems, electronic warfare detection equipment and ammunition for artillery and rocket systems.
“One year later, Ukraine’s brave defenders have not wavered, and neither has our commitment to support them for as long as it takes,” said US defence secretary Lloyd Austin.
In other international moves, the UK imposed sanctions on senior executives at Russian state-owned nuclear power company Rosatom, the country’s two largest defence groups, and four banks including MTS, which this month gained a licence to operate in the UAE.
In Brussels, EU ambassadors were seeking on Friday morning to finalise the bloc’s 10th round of sanctions on Russia, a package set to include curbs on exports of electronic components used in Russian systems including drones, missiles and helicopters.
The EU also wants to ban the transit via Russia of goods and technology that could be adapted for military use, as part of an attempted crackdown on sanctions circumvention.
Japan is also readying a new package of sanctions against Moscow, prime minister Fumio Kishida told reporters ahead of the virtual G7 summit.
“In order to stop Russia’s invasion, it is important for the G7 . . . to confirm in today’s conference that we will continue to maintain and strengthen sanctions against Russia and support for Ukraine,” Kishida said, without disclosing details of the additional measures Japan was preparing.
The White House said the G7 leaders would create an “enforcement co-ordination mechanism” to help maintain pressure on Russia as long as it continues its military campaign in Ukraine.
The mechanism is designed to ensure that Russia pays for Ukraine’s long-term reconstruction. The White House said G7 nations would keep Russia’s sovereign assets “immobilised” until there was a resolution to the conflict that addressed its “violation of Ukraine’s sovereignty and integrity”.
The Russian banks targeted by the US Treasury include Credit Bank of Moscow, Lanta Bank, Metallurgical Investment Bank, MTS Bank, Novosibirsk Social Commercial Bank and Bank Saint Petersburg, which the UK also put under sanctions.
The other targets were Bank Primorye, SDM-Bank, Ural Bank for Reconstruction and Development, which is also under sanctions from the UK and Canada. In addition, the Treasury hit Bank Uralsib and Bank Zenit Public, both of which had sanctions imposed by the UK on Friday.
The Treasury imposed sanctions on entities in the Russian metals and mining sector, including Burevestnik Central Scientific Research Institute, a Russian arms and artillery manufacturer, and OOO Metallurg-Tulamash, a steel manufacturer that the US says manufactures arms for the Russian navy.
“As the Ukrainian people continue to valiantly defend their homeland and their freedom, the United States is proud to support Ukraine through economic, security and humanitarian assistance,” US Treasury secretary Janet Yellen said. “Our actions today with our G7 partners show that we will stand with Ukraine for as long as it takes.”
Additional reporting by Felicia Schwartz in Washington, Kana Inagaki in Tokyo and Maxine Kelly in London