US targets global sanctions evasion network backed by Russia

US targets global sanctions evasion network backed by Russia – Portal

WASHINGTON, Feb 1 (Portal) – The United States on Wednesday imposed sanctions on 22 individuals and entities in several countries it accuses of being linked to a global sanctions-evasion network that backs Russia’s military-industrial complex.

The sanctions, which come as Washington seeks to ramp up pressure on Moscow over its invasion of Ukraine, are part of a US effort to fight evasion of its sanctions around the world and Russia’s access to the revenues it generates for the war needed, the US Treasury Department said in a statement.

The action targeted a sanctions-evasion network led by Russia-Cyprus-based arms dealer Igor Zimenkov, who, along with his son Jonatan, was hit by sanctions on Wednesday, according to the Finance Ministry.

The network has been involved in projects linked to Russian defense capabilities, including the delivery of high-tech equipment following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, the finance ministry said. Washington also accused certain members of the network of supporting Russian state defense units under sanctions.

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Zimenkov has also backed the Belarusian military-industrial complex by facilitating sales efforts in Latin America for a Belarusian defense unit under US sanctions, the Finance Ministry said.

Members of the network attacked included Singapore-based Asia Trading & Construction PTE Limited and its director, who were accused by the Treasury Department of selling helicopters to a government in Latin America on behalf of US-sanctioned Rostec.

GBD Limited, another company in the network hit by the sanctions, has attempted to supply weapons systems to an African government, the Treasury Department said.

Sanctions were also imposed on companies in Cyprus, Bulgaria and Israel, as well as several individuals.

The Russian embassy in the United States said such “illegal steps” by Washington would not achieve their goal.

“Russia’s economy is far from ‘in shambles’ as some in the West are hoping,” it said.

The action, which freezes all US assets of those on the sanctions list and prevents Americans in general from dealing with them, marks the latest round of US sanctions against Russia over the war in Ukraine that has killed or wounded thousands and left cities in ruins and laid ashes .

“Russia’s desperate attempts to use proxies to circumvent US sanctions show that sanctions have made it much more difficult and costly for Russia’s military-industrial complex to refuel Putin’s war machine,” Deputy Finance Minister Wally Adeyemo said in the statement .

Reporting by Daphne Psaledakis and Doina Chiacu, additional reporting by Dan Whitcomb; Editing by Deepa Babington

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