The United States cautioned European nations against Russia’s circumvention of sanctions by bringing in goods and technology which are sensitive and relevant to the war effort in Ukraine. Harvard economists have said that the already imposed sanctions need to be more effective due to a lack of cooperation between the US and the EU, as reported by Radio Free Europe.
According to Reuters, a senior US official in charge of sanctions has warned European countries about Russia’s efforts to procure certain goods covered by the sanctions as Washington seeks to root out how Moscow evades sanctions.
US Treasury Undersecretary for Terrorism and Financial Intelligence Brian Nelson met with government officials and representatives of financial institutions and companies during a visit to Switzerland, Austria, Italy, and Germany.
As part of Washington’s efforts to crack down on Russia’s evasion of sanctions, Assistant Secretary of State for Terrorist Financing and Financial Crime Elizabeth Rosenberg is going to Kazakhstan and Kyrgyzstan this week.
The Treasury Department said Washington believed Russia was using sanctions-busting methods to procure dozens of goods, including electronic components, optics, and manufacturing equipment, according to a document provided to partner countries seen by Reuters. These products include, among others, processors and controllers, video cameras, lasers, and signal generators.
During Nelson’s visit, the US Treasury Department also outlined what financial institutions should look for to identify Russian procurement networks, the document said. This includes, for example, offers from companies with no business history and no online presence and frequent or last-minute changes to end users or payers.
G7 prioritizes closing Russia sanction loopholes
The Financial Times reports that Washington and its G7 partners have prioritized closing sanctions loopholes and fighting evasion in recent months while the appetite for sanctioning new parts of the Russian economy is waning.
The US alleges that Moscow is trying to get sensitive technology through the back door, the British newspaper points out, stating that as part of intensifying efforts to prevent Moscow from procuring weapons for the war in Ukraine, US official Nelson last week provided partner countries with a detailed list of expensive double purposes by which Russia seeks to circumvent export controls imposed by the West.