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US slaps sanctions on Russian tech firms, including largest chip maker

Smoke rises after an airstrike, as Russia's attack on Ukraine continues, in Lviv, Ukraine March 26, 2022. REUTERS/Pavlo Palamarchuk

Smoke rises after an airstrike, as Russia's attack on Ukraine continues, in Lviv, Ukraine March 26, 2022. REUTERS/Pavlo Palamarchuk

Published Apr 1, 2022


Washington - The United States hit a series of Russian tech firms with sanctions Thursday, including the nation's largest chip maker, in the latest punitive move against Vladimir Putin's “war machine”.

The US Treasury said the sanctions targeted networks and technology companies that were "instrumental" to Russia's invasion of Ukraine.

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Mikron, the largest Russian manufacturer and exporter of microelectronics, was among 21 entities and 13 individuals listed for penalties, including the blocking of any property in the United States.

"Russia not only continues to violate the sovereignty of Ukraine with its unprovoked aggression but also has escalated its attacks striking civilians and population centers," said Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen.

"We will continue to target Putin's war machine with sanctions from every angle, until this senseless war of choice is over," she added.

Also named were AO NII-Vektor, a software and communication technology firm, hardware sector company T-Platforms as well as Molecular Electronics Research Institute (MERI), which does work for the Russian government, Treasury said.

As a result of the sanctions, all US property of the targeted people and firms is blocked and must be reported to the US government.

The penalties also take aim at Moscow-based OOO Serniya Engineering, which Treasury said is at the center of a network that seeks to evade sanctions by working to hide final users of "critical Western technology," such as Russian intelligence and military agencies.

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A series of people alleged to be working on behalf of Serniya were named in the sanctions.

The Kremlin has scrambled to limit the effects on Russia's economy of the unprecedented measures, which have affected everything from the central bank's foreign reserves to McDonald's.

Over one month into the invasion launched on February 24, Moscow has faced heavy military losses in exchange for relatively meagre progress on the ground.

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But analysts say factors including the changing seasons and even an upcoming draft conscription intake could encourage Putin to press the operation for months to come.

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