US, G7 impose new sanctions on Russia – Oil, media and services in the spotlight

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THE G7 promised today that it will remove gradually the eRussian oil imports while the USA will take measures to ban or prevent Russia from supplying Moscow with services on which it depends, the White House said.

The G7 decision “will deal a severe blow to (Vladimir) Putin’s main economic artery and deprive it of the revenue it needs to finance the war” against Ukraine, the US government said in a statement.

The statement did not specify which commitments each country made, namely Germany (which is chairing the G7 this year), Canada, the United States, France, Italy, Japan and Britain. The United States has already banned the import of Russian hydrocarbons, although these imports were small.

The G7 leaders in a joint statement stressed that they will intensify Russia’s economic isolation and their campaign against the Russian elite that supports Russian President Vladimir Putin.

As Putin prepares to celebrate the former USSR’s victory over Nazi Germany tomorrow, Monday, his actions in Ukraine “shame Russia and the historic sacrifices of its people,” the seven leaders said. In a video conference attended by Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, they reiterated their “commitment to take new steps to help Ukraine secure a free and democratic future” and to “defend and repel future offensive actions.”

The United States has announced new sanctions on the media and the Russian elite

Washington has also announced a new set of measures against Russia, focusing on two major areas: the media and the access of Russian companies and the Russian elite to consulting and accounting services.

The United States has imposed sanctions on Pervy Kanal, Rossiya-1 and NTV. Any American company will be banned from funding them through advertising or selling equipment to them.

“No American company should be involved in financing Russian propaganda,” said a senior White House official, stressing that the Kremlin controls the media, directly or indirectly.

US companies are also prohibited from providing accounting, administrative, consulting or other services, such as marketing or any service used to operate multinational corporations but which could also be used to circumvent sanctions or conceal illegally acquired assets.

The White House commented that although Europeans have the closest industrial ties with Russia, the US and Britain dominate the services sector, mainly through the Big Four, the four giants in accounting and consulting: Deloitte, EY, KPMG and PwC. However, the provision of legal services is allowed.

The United States also bans the export of a range of American products, from bulldozers and ventilation systems to boilers.

Sanctions were imposed, for the first time, on 27 Gazprombank executives. A senior US government official, however, clarified that the US “does not freeze the assets” of the bank, nor does it ban transactions with it. Eight Sberbank executives, Moscow Industrial Bank and ten subsidiaries, the defense industry Promtekhnologiya, seven shipping companies and a tugboat company were added to the sanctions list. The White House said the Nuclear Regulatory Commission would suspend licenses to export special nuclear material to Russia.

It was also announced that travel sanctions would be imposed on 2,600 Russian and Belarusian citizens.

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