The Biden administration is preparing to impose sanctions targeting Russian businesses it says provide goods and services for the Kremlin's military and intelligence services, The Wall Street Journal reported in an exclusive on Friday.
The Treasury Department sanctions, which the paper said could be rolled out as soon as the coming week, will arrive as America and its allies look to pressure a full spectrum of economic sectors. This, as punishment for Russia's weekslong invasion of neighboring Ukraine.
The planned sanctions are said to fall within the scope of an executive order signed by President Joe Biden that is intended to block or ban transactions with entities or people linked to harmful foreign activities on behalf of Moscow, The Journal report said.
According to U.S. officials and documents reviewed by The Wall Street Journal, the Russian government has been drawing heavily upon various Western and international technologies for its defense industry.
That's what the new sanctions are intended to address.
They will reportedly target companies that are part of Russia's procurement networks that involve goods with both military and civilian applications.
The Journal said one particular target is Serniya Engineering, which the U.S. suspects is involved in Moscow's procurement network for its intel services.
Another: That would be Moscow-based Sertal, which the administration says produces equipment and technology for the military.
The Journal said the U.S. will also put sanctions on multiple Sertal and Serniya front companies that help provide for the Russian armed forces.
Most of the companies that are expected to be sanctioned, including these two, have already come under scrutiny. In the past, the U.S. Department of Commerce placed them on a list of companies prohibiting exports of sensitive technologies.
Treasury sanctions are described as carrying more weight, with the ability to greatly curtail those companies' ability to do business anywhere. The sanctions, combined with the export-control restrictions, would also cut off access to all-important, foreign-made computer chips, along with the funding and components they'd need to try making those domestically.
Microchips are essential elements not just of the military but of broader industries, from oil to aviation. By hitting Russia's supply and ability to source those items, the hope is that the military and wider economy will both take a subtantial hit, weakening Russian President Vladimir Putin's regime as he presses the war in Ukraine.
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