US imposes sanctions on dozens of Russian firms as Black Sea tension soars

'We will continue to stand with Ukraine for as long as it takes,' says Antony Blinken

A cargo ship carrying Ukrainian grain travels through the Black Sea near Istanbul, Turkey, in November. Reuters
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The US has placed more than 120 companies from Russia, as well as several from Kyrgyzstan, on its sanctions blacklist over alleged contributions to Russia's war on Ukraine.

Russian banks, energy industry companies, shipping firms, defence businesses and private military groups are among those listed on new State Department and Treasury Department lists.

The measures are designed to inhibit Moscow's access to products that support its military efforts, undermine its energy capabilities, diminish its access to the international financial system and “starve Russia of G7-produced technology”, the Treasury said in a statement.

“As long as Russia continues to wage its unprovoked and brutal war against Ukraine, we will impose sanctions to deprive Russia of the technology it needs and disrupt the Russian arms industry’s ability to resupply,” Deputy Treasury Secretary Wally Adeyemo said.

The sanctions come as international tension soars in the Black Sea.

Russia has threatened any ships travelling to Ukraine's Black Sea ports will be suspected of carrying military cargo.

The warning comes after Kyiv said it was setting up a temporary shipping route to try to continue exporting grain.

Russia recently withdrew from a deal – brokered by the UN and Turkey – which for a year had allowed the safe passage of grain through the Black Sea.

Secretary of State Antony Blinken on Thursday reaffirmed Washington's steadfast support of Kyiv.

“We will continue to stand with Ukraine for as long as it takes,” he said.

The Treasury also singled out several companies in Kyrgyzstan, which it said Russia was using to skirt US and allied export restrictions on technological items wanted by Russian manufacturers.

One Kyrgyz company founded last year, RM Design and Development, has been a “prolific shipper” of electronics, such as semiconductors and integrated circuits, to Russian buyers that supply defence manufacturers, the Treasury said.

Updated: July 20, 2023, 5:07 PM