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State Dept. blacklists 33 Russian military officials, sanctions Chinese co. for purchasing Russian missiles, jets

Russian President Vladimir Putin oversees Russian military exercises, 2018. (Kremlin.ru/Released)
September 20, 2018
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The U.S. Department of State on Thursday put 33 Russian officials – including alleged spies, military and intelligence officials – on a sanctions blacklist, as well as sanctioned a Chinese entity for purchasing Russian military equipment.

According to a press release from State Department spokesperson Heather Nauert, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo is “adding 33 additional persons – both entities and individuals – to the […] List of Specified Persons (LSP) for being a part of, or operating for or on behalf of, the defense or intelligence sectors of the Government of the Russian Federation.”

“Any person who is determined to have knowingly engaged in a significant transaction with any of these persons will be subject to mandatory sanctions […]. This action increases the number of persons identified on the LSP to 72,” Nauert said.

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In addition, Pompeo also sanctioned a Chinese entity for purchasing Russian missiles and jets.

Nauert said that Equipment Development Department (EDD) and its director, Li Shangfu, are being sanctioned “for engaging in significant transactions with Rosoboronexport, Russia’s main arms export entity, which is on the LSP.”

She went on to explain the sanctions:

“These significant transactions involved Russia’s delivery to China of Su-35 combat aircraft in 2017 and S-400 surface-to-air missile system-related equipment in 2018. The sanctions being imposed on EDD are a denial of export licenses; a prohibition on foreign exchange transactions under United States jurisdiction; a prohibition on transactions with the United States financial system; blocking of all property and interests in property within United States jurisdiction; and the imposition of sanctions on an EDD principal executive officer, its director Li Shangfu, which include a prohibition on foreign exchange transactions under United States jurisdiction, a prohibition on transactions with the United States financial system, blocking of all property and interests in property within United States jurisdiction, and a visa ban.”

Nauert added, “These Department of State sanctions actions are the result of United States’ implementation of Title II of CAATSA, which Congress passed in response to Russia’s aggression in Ukraine, annexation of Crimea, cyber intrusions and attacks, interference in the 2016 elections, and other malign activities. We will continue to vigorously implement CAATSA and urge all countries to curtail relationships with Russia’s defense and intelligence sectors, both of which are linked to malign activities worldwide.”

The Trump Administration in August had imposed economic consequences on three shipping companies that allegedly aided North Korea in evading sanctions by re-routing shipments through ports in China and Russia, including Russian and Chinese shippers.

The State Department in August had also issued sanctions on Russia over what it says was a chemical attack on an ex-spy and his daughter in the U.K.

The State Department determined that Russia “used chemical or biological weapons in violation of international law or has used lethal chemical or biological weapons against its own nationals,” Nauert had said at the time.

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The U.S. in March expelled 60 Russian diplomats and announced it would close the Russian consulate in Seattle, Washington, after Russia was accused of deliberately trying to poison an ex-spy in the U.K.

U.K. police revealed earlier this year that a former Russian spy and his daughter were poisoned by a nerve agent in England, which raised speculation that the Russian government ordered the “targeted” assassination attempt.

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