On March 24, in its latest action to impose severe costs on the Russian Federation for its illegal, unwarranted, and baseless war against Ukraine, the U.S. Department of the Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) is designating key enablers of the invasion. This includes dozens of Russian defense companies, 328 members of the Russian State Duma, and the head of Russia’s largest financial institution.
This action aligns with similar actions taken by the European Union, the United Kingdom, and Canada, and reflects continued unity to hold Putin accountable for his war of choice.
OFAC is designating multiple companies that are part of Russia’s defense-industrial base and that produce weapons that have been used in Russia’s assault against Ukraine’s people, infrastructure, and territory.
The designations build on those levied by Treasury in previous weeks against key components of the Government of the Russian Federation (GoR) that facilitate Putin’s hostile campaign against Ukraine. By cutting off 48 companies from western technological and financial resources, the action will have a deep and long-lasting effect on Russia’s defense-industrial base and its supply chain.
Russian Duma members supported the Kremlin’s efforts to violate Ukraine’s sovereignty and territorial integrity, including through treaties recognizing the self-proclaimed independence of areas of eastern Ukraine controlled by Russia’s proxies, known as the so-called Donetsk People’s Republic (DNR) and Luhansk People’s Republic (LNR).
This latest sanction follows OFAC’s March 11 designation of 12 members of the Russian State Duma who appealed to President Vladimir Putin to recognize the independence of the DNR and LNR.
In addition to designating 328 members of the State Duma, OFAC is also designating the State Duma itself as an entity.
Finally, OFAC is designating Herman Gref, the head of Sberbank and a close Putin associate.
“The United States, with our partners and allies, is striking at the heart of Russia’s ability to finance and carry out its warfare and atrocities against Ukraine,” said Secretary of the Treasury Janet L. Yellen. “The Russian State Duma continues to support Putin’s invasion, stifle the free flow of information, and infringe on the basic rights of the citizens of Russia. We call on those closest to Putin to cease and condemn this cold-blooded war.”
The Treasury Department has also issued new guidance on transactions with the Central Bank of the Russian Federation involving gold.
Photo credit: iStock/ Valery Bocman