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U.S. targets global sanctions evasion network supporting Russia



FILE PHOTO: A bronze seal for the Department of the Treasury is shown at the U.S. Treasury building in Washington, U.S., January 20, 2023.  REUTERS/Kevin Lamarque

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The United States on Wednesday imposed sanctions on 22 individuals and entities in multiple countries that Washington accused of being tied to a global sanctions evasion network supporting Russia’s military-industrial complex.

The move, which comes as Washington looks to increase pressure on Moscow over its invasion of Ukraine, is part of U.S. efforts to target sanctions evasion around the world and limit Russia’s access to revenue it needs for the war, the U.S. Treasury Department said.

Wednesday’s action targeted a sanctions evasion network that the Treasury said is led by Russia and Cyprus-based arms dealer Igor Zimenkov.

The network has engaged in projects connected to Russian defense capabilities, including supplying high-technology devices after Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, Treasury said. Washington also accused certain members of the network of supporting sanctioned, state-owned Russian defense entities.

Among the members of the network that were designated in the move were companies based in Singapore, Cyprus, Bulgaria and Israel, as well as several people, according to Treasury.

“Russia’s desperate attempts to utilize proxies to circumvent U.S. sanctions demonstrate that sanctions have made it much harder and costlier for Russia’s military-industrial complex to resupply Putin’s war machine,” Deputy Treasury Secretary Wally Adeyemo said in the statement.