Biden signs executive order targeting financial facilitators of Russian defense industry-UPDATED

Joe Biden, U.S. President

© APA | Joe Biden, U.S. President

# 22 December 2023 19:01 (UTC +04:00)

U.S. President Biden signed an executive order giving the Treasury Department the authority to target financial institutions that facilitate Russia's efforts to bolster its defense industry, APA reports citing CBS News.

The new sanctions authority is meant to gum up the Kremlin's push to restock the Russian military's depleted arsenal after nearly 22 months of fighting in Ukraine. Russia has already lost over 13,000 pieces of equipment, including tanks, drones and missile systems, according to a U.S. assessment.

The White House said Mr. Biden signed the order Friday morning.

"We expect financial institutions will undertake every effort to ensure that they are not witting or unwitting facilitators of circumvention and evasion," Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen said in a statement announcing the order. "And we will not hesitate to use the new tools provided by this authority to take decisive, and surgical, action against financial institutions that facilitate the supply of Russia's war machine."

National security adviser Jake Sullivan said the executive order will "continue tightening the screws on Russia's war machine and its enablers."

"These new sanctions authorities will make clear to foreign financial institutions that facilitating significant transactions relating to Russia's military industrial base will expose them to sanctions risk," he said in a statement. "We are sending an unmistakable message: anyone supporting Russia's unlawful war effort is at risk of losing access to the U.S. financial system."

*** 15:40

U.S. President Joe Biden on Friday will sign an executive order allowing Washington to impose sanctions on financial institutions that help Russia evade sanctions, U.S. Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen said, APA reports citing Reuters.

The executive order, part of a wider U.S. crackdown on sanctions evasion, also gives Washington the ability to ban products originating in Russia but processed in third countries, such as seafood and diamonds, Yellen said in a statement.

Senior administration officials said the new executive order would make clear to financial institutions that they must either stop allowing their companies to ship components and goods to the Russian defense sector, or face significant sanctions.

The United States and its allies, including the European Union and Britain, imposed sanctions on Russia after February 2022 and have continued to ratchet up pressure on Moscow, targeting Russian President Vladimir Putin, the financial sector and dozens of oligarchs.

The order is being issued in coordination with allies.

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