US curbs exports to more Russian and Belarusian companies
The move by Washington is the latest measure aimed at punishing Moscow over its invasion of Ukraine.
The Biden administration has announced a new round of export restrictions against Russia and Belarus, adding 120 entities, mostly companies with links to the military, to a list of those effectively blocked from receiving vital technology.
The additions on Friday to the Commerce Department’s entity list follow several similar actions taken by the United States to weaken the Russian military since President Vladimir Putin’s invasion of Ukraine on February 24.
The latest action aims to “degrade Russian and Belarusian defence, aerospace, maritime, and other strategic sectors in response to Russia’s brutal assault on the sovereignty of Ukraine”, the Commerce Department said.
The White House has argued the controls would help prevent technology and software reaching military sectors in Russia and Belarus.
“These parties are being effectively cut off from the inputs necessary to sustain Putin’s war,” said Secretary of Commerce Gina Raimondo in a statement.
Expansion of exports controls
The controls rely on a dramatic expansion of the so-called Foreign Direct Product Rule, forcing companies making high- and low-tech items overseas with US tools to seek a licence from the US before shipping to Russia.
The measures also instruct the Commerce Department to deny almost all of those licence requests.
In total, the Commerce Department has added 260 entities to the entity list in response to the invasion of Ukraine, which Russia calls a “special operation”.