Biden’s Executive Order Aims To Hinder Russia’s Rearmament Plans

( – U.S. President Joe Biden is taking more steps to hinder Russia’s financial capability to continue its invasion of Ukraine, recently signing an executive order that expands U.S. sanctions to cover financial institutions that help Russia fund the expansion of its quickly shrinking arsenal.

According to the new EO, financial institutions that are found to have “facilitated significant transactions” that help Russia fund its “military industrial base” will lose access to the U.S. financial system. The executive order also broadens a ban on the importation of a number of goods and products from Russia.

What the White House calls Russia’s “unprovoked war on Ukraine” is close to hitting its two-year mark. Russia did not expect Ukraine to last anywhere this long, but thanks to the Ukrainians’ resilience as well as significant aid from various allies throughout the world—the U.S. included—their invasion has suffered considerable challenges. The protracted offensive has left Russia low on weapons and ammunition; the U.S. estimates that the Putin-led country has lost more than 13,000 pieces of equipment that include drones, tanks, and missile systems.

In a statement announcing the order, Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen said that the U.S. is hopeful that global financial institutions will take extra care to ensure that they are not intentionally or unintentionally facilitating Russia’s “circumvention and evasion” of current financial sanctions imposed by the U.S. She further warned that the U.S. will not hesitate to use “decisive and surgical action” against financial firms that help “facilitate the supply of Russia’s war machine.”

The U.S. Department of State also issued a statement on the order, urging financial institutions to enact “due diligence practices” that will prevent them from being taken advantage of by “Russia’s procurement networks.” Secretary of State Antony Blinken warned that financial companies that fail to do so will be held accountable for their actions by the U.S. government.

The U.S. hopes that the new EO will eliminate Russia’s continued access to global financial markets. Russia has circumvented financial sanctions already in place by partnering with smaller financial companies, who in turn act as a proxy of sorts, so Moscow continues to have access to larger financial institutions.

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