US announces sanctions against Kremlin-controlled media companies and bans Russia from using some US advisory services

President Joe Biden and the leaders of the G-7 met virtually with the Ukrainian president Volodymyr Zelensky on Sunday to discuss further actions the US and its allies are taking to punish Russia for its unprovoked invasion of Ukraine. The announcement also included new export controls against Russia’s industrial sector and about 2,600 visa restrictions on Russian and Belarusian officials, as well as the first sanctions against executives of Gazprombank, the institution through which most of Europe buys Russian gas.

By preventing Russia from accessing the valuable professional services of the United States, the pressure on the Kremlin will increase and reduce its ability to evade sanctions imposed by the United States and our partners. of Finance Janet Yellen in a statement. “We also focus on Putin’s ability to generate revenue that would enable his aggression, as well as entities and their leaders who support his destructive actions.”

“This is already a failure for Putin, and we will continue to honor the brave battles taking place by the Ukrainian people and listen to President Zelensky and recommit to stay on track,” the senior government official told reporters ahead of the meeting. presidential meeting. meeting with G-7 leaders and Zelensky on Sunday.

The official added that the call would also highlight how Russian President Vladimir Putin is “dishonoring” the sacrifices made by Soviet citizens, millions of whom sacrificed their lives to defeat fascism during World War II.

4 ways Russia is trying to prove it can live with sanctions

“Putin dishonored those sacrifices by spreading his lies, his disinformation about the barbarity he is perpetrating in Ukraine… It is truly an opportunity to speak the truth and demonstrate our continued unity,” the official said on the appeal.

All things considered, today’s actions are a continuation of Russia’s systematic and methodical removal from the global financial and economic system. And the message is that there will be no safe haven for the Russian economy if Putin’s invasion continues. “, the official told reporters.

The three television networks sanctioned by the US are Channel One Russia, Television Station Russia-1 and NTV Broadcasting Company. Together, they received more than $300 million in ad revenue from Western countries last year, the official said.

“It is not our job to help them broadcast the lies and deceit you hear from Putin every day,” the official said.

The new visa restrictions apply to “2,596 members of the military of the Russian Federation and 13 Belarusian military officials,” the US State Department said in a statement. The ministry said the individuals were targeted because they “are believed to have been involved in human rights violations, violations of international humanitarian law or public corruption in Ukraine, including in the so-called ‘Donetsk People’s Republic’ or ‘Luhansk People’s Republic.'”

Notably, US legal services were not included in Sunday’s ban. The US has decided to continue to allow the search for an “appropriate process”, the official said, but added that the government would re-evaluate it “every day” and that it is waiting to see what happens after the initial ban on drugs. services . The official noted that the United Kingdom has not instituted such a ban either.

The official also noted that the sanctions against Gazprombank executives are just that: actions against leaders of the major financial institution and not a full sanction against the bank itself, with which Europeans must do business to continue buying Russian gas.

“This is not a complete block. We are not freezing Gazprombank’s assets or prohibiting transactions with Gazprombank. What we are signaling is that Gazprombank is not a safe haven. And that is why we are punishing some of the top executives of the business. sitting at the top of the organization to create a chilling effect,” the official said.

The decision to restrict exports of industrial products to Russia is intended to hamper the Kremlin’s industrial and war capabilities, similar to how Western restrictions on microchips limit Russia’s ability to make precision-guided missiles, the official said. .

In addition to the export ban on Russian industrial services, the US has also imposed sanctions on Promtekhnologiya LLC, which makes weapons, including rifles used by Russian forces in Ukraine. The Nuclear Regulatory Commission will also no longer allow the export of uranium, plutonium or other nuclear-related products.

G7 leaders said in a statement on Sunday that they had committed to increasing short-term financial aid to Ukraine in the coming weeks and continuing to develop options for the country’s long-term reconstruction.

“In the coming weeks, we will step up our collective short-term financial support to help Ukraine close financing gaps and provide basic services to its people, while also developing options – in collaboration with the Ukrainian authorities and international financial institutions – to support provide long-term recovery and reconstruction,” the statement said.

Meanwhile, Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba spoke with US Secretary of State Antony Blinken on Sunday to discuss further sanctions against Russia and the impact of the war in Ukraine on global food security.

Kuleba said in a tweet that the US is preparing “new strong sanctions” against Russia, adding that the two diplomats discussed “ways to unblock Ukrainian food exports and ways to enable global food security”.

This story has been updated with additional information.

CORRECTION: An earlier version of this story misrepresented the amount of ad revenue received by three Russian television networks from western countries last year, as quoted by a senior official in the Biden administration. It was $300 million.

CNN’s Devan Cole and Anastasia Graham Yooll contributed to this report.

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