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US imposes new round of sanctions targeting Russian technology companies

Joe Biden. (Yuri Gripas/Abaca Press/TNS)

This article was originally published by Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty and is reprinted with permission.

The United States has slapped sanctions on several Russian technology firms, including its largest chipmaker, and people associated with them over Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

The U.S. Treasury Department said in a statement on March 31that it imposed sanctions on 13 people and 21 entities, including Joint Stock Company Mikron, the largest Russian manufacturer and exporter of microelectronics and Russia’s largest chipmaker.

The U.S. Treasury said the sanctions target networks and technology companies that are “instrumental” to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

The department also expanded authorities to include the aerospace, marine, and electronics sectors of the Russian economy, allowing Washington to impose penalties on any person or entity determined to operate in those sectors.

The move also takes aim at “malicious cyber actors,” the Treasury Department said.

“Russia not only continues to violate the sovereignty of Ukraine with its unprovoked aggression but also has escalated its attacks striking civilians and population centers,” Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen said in a news release.

“We will continue to target Putin’s war machine with sanctions from every angle, until this senseless war of choice is over,” she added.

Also named on the new sanctions list are AO NII-Vektor, a software and communication technology firm; hardware sector company T-Platforms; and Molecular Electronics Research Institute (MERI), which does work for the Russian government, the Treasury said.

The new sanctions also apply to Moscow-based OOO Serniya Engineering, which the Treasury Department said is at the center of a network that seeks to evade sanctions. Several people alleged to be working on behalf of Serniya are named on the new sanctions list.

The measures are the latest in a series of sanctions imposed on Russia and its allies since Russian forces invaded Ukraine on February 24.

The sanctions freeze any U.S. assets held by the individuals and the entities targeted and generally bar Americans from dealing with them. Those that engage in certain transactions with them also risk being hit with sanctions, the Treasury said.

For its part, Russia said it had greatly expanded the number of European Union officials, lawmakers, public figures, and journalists barred from Russia for allegedly being responsible for sanctions and stoking anti-Russian feelings.

“The restrictions apply to the top leadership of the European Union, including a number of European commissioners and heads of EU military structures, as well as the vast majority of members of the European Parliament who promote anti-Russian policies,” the Russian Foreign Ministry said.