US announces sanctions against Kremlin-controlled media companies and bans Russia from using certain US consulting services

President Joe Biden and G-7 leaders met virtually with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky on Sunday to discuss new steps the United States and its allies are taking to punish Russia for its unprovoked invasion of Ukraine. The announcement also included new export controls against Russia’s industrial sector and about 2,600 visa restrictions for Russian and Belarusian officials, as well as the first sanctions against the leaders of Gazprombank, the institution by which most of of Europe buys Russian gas.

“Preventing Russia from accessing valuable U.S. professional services increases pressure on the Kremlin and cuts off its ability to evade sanctions imposed by the United States and our partners,” U.S. Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen said in a statement. a statement. “We also target Putin’s ability to generate revenue that enables his aggression, as well as the entities and their leaders that support his destructive actions.”

“This is already a failure for Putin, and we will continue to honor the courageous struggles of the Ukrainian people and listen to President Zelensky and recommit ourselves to staying the course,” the senior administration official told reporters beforehand. the president’s speech. Sunday meeting with G-7 leaders and Zelensky.

The official added that the appeal would also highlight how Russian President Vladimir Putin “disgraces” the sacrifices made by Soviet Russian citizens, millions of whom sacrificed their lives to defeat fascism during World War II.

“Putin dishonors these sacrifices by spreading his lies, his misinformation about the barbarism he is committing in Ukraine… This is truly a chance to speak the truth and demonstrate our continued unity,” the official said of the announcement. ‘call.

“Taken together, today’s actions are a continuation of Russia’s systematic and methodical withdrawal from the global financial and economic system. And the message is that there will be no safe haven for the Russian economy if Putin’s invasion continues,” the official told reporters.

The three television networks sanctioned by the United States are Channel One Russia, Television Station Russia-1 and NTV Broadcasting Company. Together, they received more than $300 million in advertising revenue from Western countries last year, according to the official.

“We’re not going to get involved in helping them spread the lies and deceptions you hear every day from Putin,” the official said.

The new visa restrictions apply to “2,596 members of the Russian Federation military and 13 Belarusian military officials,” the US State Department said in a statement. The department said the individuals were being targeted because they “are suspected of having been involved in human rights violations, violations of international humanitarian law or public corruption in Ukraine, including in the self -called ‘Donetsk People’s Republic’ or ‘Luhansk People’s Republic’.'”

Notably, US legal services were not included in Sunday’s ban. The United States, according to the official, has decided to continue to allow the search for “due process”, but added that the government will continue to reassess this “every day” and is waiting to see what happens. will pass after the initial banning of the Services. . The official noted that the UK has not instituted such a ban either.

The official was also careful to note that the sanctions against the leaders of Gazprombank are just that: actions against the leaders of the important financial institution and not a total sanction against the bank itself, with which the Europeans must make do. business to continue buying Russian gas.

“It’s not a complete block. We’re not freezing Gazprombank’s assets or prohibiting any transactions with Gazprombank. What we’re pointing out is that Gazprombank is not a safe haven. And so we’re sanctioning some of the most senior corporate executives, these are the people who sit at the top of the organization, to create a chilling effect,” the official said.

The decision to restrict exports of industrial products to Russia is aimed at hampering the Kremlin’s industrial capacity and warfare capability, in much the same way as Western restrictions on microchips limit Russia’s ability to manufacture guided missiles. accuracy, the official said.

In addition to banning the export of Russian industrial services, the United States also sanctioned Promtekhnologiya LLC, which manufactures weapons, including rifles used by Russian forces in Ukraine. The Nuclear Regulatory Commission will also no longer authorize the export of uranium, plutonium or other nuclear-related products.

G7 leaders said in a statement on Sunday that they had pledged to “step up” short-term financial assistance to Ukraine in the coming weeks, as well as to continue to develop options for reconstruction long term of the country.

“In the coming weeks, we will step up our collective short-term financial support to help Ukraine fill funding gaps and provide basic services to its people, while developing options – together with the Ukrainian authorities. and international financial institutions – to support long-term recovery and reconstruction,” the statement said.

Meanwhile, Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba met with US Secretary of State Antony Blinken on Sunday to discuss new sanctions against Russia and the impact of the war in Ukraine on global food security.

Kuleba said in a Tweeter that the United States is preparing “strong new sanctions” against Russia, adding that the two diplomats “discussed ways to unblock Ukraine’s food exports and ways to enable global food security.”

This story has been updated with additional information.

CORRECTION: An earlier version of this story misstated the amount of advertising revenue received by three Russian TV stations from Western countries last year, as cited by a senior Biden administration official. It was $300 million.

CNN’s Devan Cole and Anastasia Graham Yooll contributed to this report.

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