U.S. Announces New Technology Sanctions on Russia, Goes Harder On Evasion Networks – On Thursday, the United States announced new sanctions against Russia targeting the country’s technology sector and taking steps to block an evasion network designed to help the Russian defense sector maintain access to Western technology. The new sanctions also reportedly target “malicious cyber actors” and come as U.S. President Joe Biden warns American companies that Russian cyberattacks are likely imminent.
“We will continue to target Putin’s war machine with sanctions from every angle, until this senseless war of choice is over,” Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen said in an official statement.
“The U.S. continues to impose severe costs on Russia for its unprovoked & unjustified war against Ukraine by targeting operators in the Russian technology sector to prevent it from evading multilateral sanctions & procure critical western technology,” the Treasury Department said.
Sanctions were placed on 21 entities and 13 individuals. Among the companies targeted was Joint Stock Company Mikron, the biggest chipmaker in Russia and an exporter of microelectronic devices and equipment.
All companies targeted in the sanctions will no longer be able to do business with American entities or businesses. Among the companies targeted is Serniya Engineering and technological equipment manufacturer Sertal – both of which are part of a wider network designed to circumvent Western sanctions and keep technological equipment and tools flowing to Russia.
What Is the Evasion Network?
In a press release from the United States Department of the Treasury, Russian sanctions evasion networks are explained in great detail. The release describes how the Moscow-based OOO Serniya Engineering company is at the center of a “procurement network engaged in proliferation activities at the direction of Russian Intelligence Services.”
The network reportedly operates across several countries and is assisting the Russian military and intelligence agency end-users who rely on Western technology that is affected by Western sanctions. Serniya Engineering reportedly procures dual-use equipment and technology no longer available to the Russian market, and supplies that equipment to the country’s defense sector.
“Russia-based OOO Robin Treid, United Kingdom-based Majory LLP, United Kingdom-based Photon Pro LLP, and Spain-based Invention Bridge SL are front companies utilized by Serniya to facilitate its procurement of key equipment for the Government of the Russian Federation (GoR). Within the past month, the European Union and Japan have placed export-related restrictions on Serniya, Sertal, and Photon Pro,” the press release explains.
Jack Buckby is a British author, counter-extremism researcher, and journalist based in New York. Reporting on the U.K., Europe, and the U.S., he works to analyze and understand left-wing and right-wing radicalization, and reports on Western governments’ approaches to the pressing issues of today. His books and research papers explore these themes and propose pragmatic solutions to our increasingly polarized society.