The Columbus Dispatch

G7 to announce sanctions on Russia

Chinese companies supplying Moscow might be included also

- Elaine Kurtenbach

HIROSHIMA, Japan – The Group of Seven advanced economies are expected to announce a new set of sanctions against Russia to try to further hinder its war effort in Ukraine during their summit in Hiroshima, Japan.

In traveling to Japan, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy will help to drive home the need to better enforce measures meant to stifle Moscow’s war machine.

Russia is now the most-sanctioned country in the world, but there are questions about their effectiven­ess. EU Council President Charles Michel said the plan was to close loopholes and ensure the sanctions are painful for Russia, not for the countries enforcing them.

Here’s a look at what may be next, the sanctions so far, and the impact they have had on Russia’s economy and military effort:

What the G7 might do

Michel said the 27-nation EU was focused on “shutting the door on loopholes and continuing to cut Russia off from critical supplies.” It is working on a plan to restrict trade in Russian diamonds and trace the trade to prevent Russia from skirting the restrictio­ns. Russia exports about $4 billion worth of rough diamonds a year, nearly a third of the world’s total, and the lion’s share are cut and polished in India.

The new sanctions follow an online summit in February where G7 leaders pledged to intensify enforcemen­t through their sanctions watchdog Enforcemen­t Coordinati­on Mechanism to improve informatio­n sharing and enforcemen­t. It has pledged to impose “severe costs” on other countries that evade or undermine them.

“We will starve Russia of G7 technology, industrial equipment and services

that support its war machine,” said Ursula von der Leyen, president of the European Commission.

Some Chinese companies that are thought to be supplying components to Russia that can be used for military equipment are on the list of entities that might be sanctioned, an EU official said Saturday. China has so far not joined other countries in announcing any restrictio­ns on trade with Russia, but it also has refrained from providing weapons or other materiel.

What have G7, other Western nations done so far?

The list is long and growing longer. On Friday, the United Kingdom announced new sanctions targeting Russian seizures of Ukrainian grain, advanced military technology and Moscow’s remaining revenue sources. It froze assets of 86 more individual­s and entities including companies connected to Rosatom that support President Vladimir Putin’s war effort. Russian sovereign assets will stay frozen until “Russia agrees to pay for the damage it has caused in Ukraine,” the British Foreign, Commonweal­th & Developmen­t Office

said in a statement.

The U.S. began by targeting members of Putin’s inner circle and their families and banks considered crucial to the Kremlin and Russia’s military. The U.S. also moved to limit Russia’s power to raise money abroad. Sanctions are imposed on individual­s listed on a Specially Designated Nationals and Blocked Persons List through the Treasury Department’s Office of Foreign Assets Control. The list has expanded to include people and companies around the globe allegedly involved in supporting Russia’s military. It works with the Russian Elites, Proxies, and Oligarchs Task Force, a multiagenc­y group that cooperates with other countries to investigat­e and prosecute oligarchs and others allied with Putin.

On Friday, the Department of State announced new sanctions on more than 200 entities, individual­s, vessels and aircraft, targeting Russia’s energy, military, technology, and metals and mining sectors. They also focused on entities and people involved in unlawful deportatio­n of Ukrainian children and seizures of Ukrainian grain.

The EU has enforced sanctions largely in line with those imposed by the U.S.,

Britain and Canada. Since all 27 of its members must agree unanimousl­y, the process can be a bit slower, officials say. The EU has imposed 10 rounds of sanctions on Russia since President Vladimir Putin ordered his forces into Ukraine on Feb. 24. Banks, companies and the energy sector have been hit. Well over 1,000 officials are subject to asset freezes and travel bans.

Japan stepped up its sanctions in February, freezing assets of Russians and Russian companies and suspending visas for some. It froze the assets of some financial institutio­ns and banned exports of items that can be used for military purposes, dual-use goods, some commoditie­s and semiconduc­tors.

Canada has sanctioned dozens of Russians and Russian companies, including leaders of Russian state-owned energy company Gazprom and six energy sector entities.

Why more sanctions are needed

G7 officials say they are seeing more and more evasion of sanctions. “Hightech exports to third countries, from micro-processors and sensors for Russian cruise missiles to chips in military communicat­ions equipment, make their way onwards to Russia and end up in weapons used against Ukraine on the battlefiel­d. We must put a stop to this,” von der Leyen said Friday.

Impact of sanctions so far

Western sanctions have hit Russian banks, wealthy individual­s and technology imports. Initially, the ruble plunged, foreign businesses fled and prices soared. A top Treasury Department official said U.S. sanctions and export controls have degraded Russia’s ability to replace more than 9,000 pieces of military equipment lost in the war. But economic life for ordinary Russians hasn’t changed much.

Russia’s exports to China, India and Turkey have surged since sanctions were imposed following the invasion of Ukraine, while those to Western countries and their allies Japan and South Korea have fallen sharply.

 ?? BRENDAN SMIALOWSKI/AP ?? The Group of Seven advanced economies are expected to announce new sanctions against Russia to try to further hinder its war effort in Ukraine during their summit in Hiroshima, Japan.
BRENDAN SMIALOWSKI/AP The Group of Seven advanced economies are expected to announce new sanctions against Russia to try to further hinder its war effort in Ukraine during their summit in Hiroshima, Japan.

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