US to impose sanctions on over 500 Russian targets

Screenshot from Reuters video.

The United States plans to impose sanctions on over 500 targets on Friday, marking the second anniversary of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, Deputy U.S. Treasury Secretary Wally Adeyemo told Reuters on Thursday. The sanctions, in collaboration with other countries, aim to target Russia’s military-industrial complex and companies in third countries assisting Russia’s access to desired goods.

“Tomorrow we’ll release hundreds of sanctions here in the United States, but this is a global effort,” Adeyemo said as quoted by Reuters. The sanctions are part of a broader initiative by the U.S. and its allies following Russia’s 2022 invasion of Ukraine, which has resulted in tens of thousands of deaths and widespread destruction.

As the U.S. and its allies continue to pressure Russia, there are doubts about whether the U.S. Congress will approve additional security assistance for Ukraine. The Biden administration has depleted previously approved funds for Ukraine, and a request for additional support is pending in the Republican-controlled House.

“Sanctions and export controls aim to slow Russia down in its war in Ukraine,” Adeyemo stated. “However, to expedite Ukraine’s defense capabilities, Congress must act to provide the necessary resources and weapons.”

Experts, including former National Security Council official Peter Harrell, have warned that sanctions alone may not stop Moscow’s military actions. The effectiveness of further military assistance to Ukraine is seen as a crucial factor.

The Treasury Department reported in December that Russia’s economy contracted by 2.1% in 2022, with Chief Sanctions Economist Rachel Lyngaas noting on the Treasury’s website that the economy is 5% smaller than pre-sanctions forecasts. Despite this, the International Monetary Fund in January predicted a 2.6% GDP growth for Russia in 2024, a 1.5 percentage point increase from an October estimate, following a solid 3.0% growth in 2023.

IMF spokesperson Julie Kozack highlighted on Thursday that Russia is now operating in a war economy, with military spending, government social transfers, and rising inflation, despite global declines.