Cold War II: The Economic Battle Against Russia Continues

2014/05/23

By: Brooke Driver

In alignment with his goal of creating economic instability in Russia by cutting off American support, President Obama released a list of denied persons, mainly consisting of high-ranking officials in President Vladimir Putin’s inner circle. The president recently added to that list, and both the State and Commerce Departments have responded accordingly.

Expanding the scope of the first round of sanctions, this round of sanctions against Moscow will target not only a number of additional parties and companies closely related to Putin, but Russia’s defense industry as a whole. According to President Obama,

“It is important for us to take further steps sending a message to Russia that these kinds of destabilizing activities taking place in Ukraine have to stop.” And, while Obama has continued to withhold direct military support to Ukraine by refusing to meet the country’s demand for weapons, according to deputy national security advisor Tony Blinken, the United States will offer substantial monetary aid to the country. The president will coordinate with his allies and the World Bank to gather an estimated $37 billion to support Ukraine in its fight against Russia.

For their part, the State department has executed Obama’s order to cut off licensure for Russian entities, as stated by State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki:

“Effective immediately, the Department’s Directorate of Defense Trade Controls (DDTC) will deny pending applications for export or re-export of any high technology defense articles or services regulated under the U.S. Munitions List to Russia or occupied Crimea that contribute to Russia’s military capabilities…In addition, the Department is taking actions to revoke any existing export licenses which meet these conditions.”

Likewise, the Commerce Department has promised to deny any applications for the export/re-export to Russia of any high technology products that could contribute to the country’s militant efforts and stated its intent to revoke relevant existing licenses. In addition, BIS has added 13 Russian and Crimean companies suspected of aiding the Russian military to its denied parties list.

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