Russia scorns latest round of US sanctions over war in Ukraine

Russian President Vladimir Putin at the Novo-Ogaryovo residence outside Moscow. Oct. 31, 2023.
Russian President Vladimir Putin at the Novo-Ogaryovo residence outside Moscow. Oct. 31, 2023. Copyright Gavriil Grigorov/Sputnik/AP
By Eleanor Butler with Reuters
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The Kremlin has dismissed sanctions from Washington just days after Putin’s bedbug jibe over potential EU export bans.


“Of course, sanctions create additional problems,” said Kremlin spokesperson Dmitry Peskov, on Friday. “But I will repeat once again, we have adapted to sanctions... We have learned how to overcome them.”

Moscow was reacting to around 100 punitive measures outlined by the US government yesterday that aim to disrupt Russian President Vladimir Putin’s military offensive in Ukraine.

The sanctions have a number of key intentions that include tackling Russia’s domestic industrial base, its financial services sector, and its technological growth.

Moscow’s response comes just days after Putin mocked potential EU sanctions over the war in Ukraine, according to Russian news outlet TASS.

The unfinalised European measures could place export restrictions on a number of items ranging from diamonds to welding machines.

"Perhaps the less junk, the better,” Putin reportedly stated. “There is less of a chance of bedbugs coming here from large European cities."

Third-party collaborators

Washington is also looking to crack down on the support Moscow is receiving from foreign nations and individuals.

US Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen said in a statement: “Russia is dependent on willing third-country individuals and entities to resupply its military and perpetuate its heinous war against Ukraine.”

She added that the US “will not hesitate in holding them accountable”.

In particular, Washington hopes to target Russia’s trading with China, Turkey, and the United Arab Emirates, as the Kremlin is reliant on these countries for “high-priority items” such as critical weapons components.

Beijing harshly criticised the new US measures on Friday, stating that Washington should "correct its wrong practices” and “stop containing and suppressing Chinese firms".

LNG and deadly drones

Another target of the sanctions is the Arctic LNG 2 project, run by Russia's second-largest natural gas producer, Novatek.

The scheme is part of Russia’s plan to ramp up its production of liquified natural gas, which would allow the Kremlin to solidify and expand its geopolitical influence.

Although the EU has cut its imports of Russian pipeline gas, the bloc is still reliant on Russian LNG, with shipments increasing 40% from January to July this year, compared to the same period in 2021.

Novatek said in September it would start exporting from Arctic-2 LNG early next year, and it remains to be seen how much Russian gas could be blocked by Washington’s measures.

The new sanctions also aim to tackle KUB-BLA and Lancet suicide drones used by the Russian military in Ukraine by blacklisting companies contributing to the manufacturing process.

Andrii Yermak, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy’s chief of staff, welcomed Washington’s announcement.

He wrote on Telegram: “I am very pleased that... restrictions are being tightened against companies associated with the military-industrial complex of the Russian Federation.”


Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy also praised the US measures in his nightly address, saying that they are “just what is needed”.

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