Exclusive Treasury official says US surveillance and countering Russian intelligence

Exclusive: Treasury official says US surveillance and countering Russian intelligence as part of sanctions crackdown

(CNN) Deputy Treasury Secretary Wally Adeyemo plans next week to warn Russia and its intelligence agencies: The US is monitoring its efforts to circumvent US sanctions and is cracking down.

“As we look to the future, one of the core pieces of our strategy will be to counter attempts to circumvent our sanctions,” Adeyemo will say in a remark to the Council on Foreign Relations on Tuesday, according to excerpts of his speech obtained by CNN. “We know that Russia is actively looking for ways to circumvent these sanctions. … In fact, one of the reasons we know our sanctions are working is that Russia has tasked its intelligence agencies — the FSB and the GRU — with finding ways to circumvent them.”

Adeyemo, the department’s No. 2, will deliver the remarks ahead of the first anniversary of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and reflect on US-led efforts to destabilize Russia’s economy and impose crushing sanctions to limit President Vladimir Putin’s ability to to wage war, to subvert.

“A big part of that is intelligence and intelligence sharing, something that we started doing even before the Russian invasion,” Adeyemo said in an interview with CNN. “So a big part of that is building a bypass network that allows us to look for information across jurisdictions and then take action.”

His comments come as the Kremlin increasingly turns to its secret services to avoid Western sanctions.

Since Russia launched its bloody war against Ukraine, the US has imposed thousands of sanctions on Russian politicians, oligarchs and corporations, cut off the Central Bank of Russia from its dollar-denominated reserves and the global financial intelligence system, and undermined Russia’s defense industrial base and imposed a price cap on Russian oil and petroleum products.

“What we are doing with our Commerce colleagues is that we are slowing down Russia and our Defense Ministry colleagues are speeding up the Ukrainians. So you get them the weapons they need to fight Russia in their country Trade and Treasury are slowing down Russia’s ability to rearmament. We’re already seeing a big impact,” Adeyemo told CNN.

In excerpts of his remarks, Adeyemo argues that the US and its allies’ sanctions and export controls have damaged the Russian economy.

“Last year, instead of the projected budget surplus, Russia suffered a budget deficit of $47 billion. This was the second-highest deficit the country has experienced in the post-Soviet era. Industrial production has declined in Russia for nine straight months and we are planning further measures to further decimate the Kremlin’s industrial base,” Adeyemo will say.

Despite the impact of sanctions on Russia’s economy, some observers have pointed to concerns about Moscow’s ability to circumvent sanctions and reroute trade routes to continue acquiring some of the technology and finance needed to fund its war machine through countries like Turkey, which United Arab Emirates and India.

“Spending the country’s savings may hide the damage for now, but our actions are forcing Russia to mortgage its economic future to save face today. Of course we still have more to do and we will continue to do more until Russia ends its baseless and illegal invasion. But a year into this conflict, Russia’s economy looks more like that of Iran than that of a G-20 country,” Adeyemo will say.

Adeyemo’s comments follow Treasury Undersecretary for Terrorism and Financial Intelligence Brian Nelson’s trip last month to the United Arab Emirates and Turkey, where he outlined how the department is working to “crack down” on Russian attempts to circumvent sanctions and export controls. . warn that there are consequences for working with sanctioned companies or failing to conduct proper due diligence.