U.S., EU Widen Sanctions on Russia

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from The Wall Street Journal,

Measures Target Energy, Financial and Defense Companies.

OAO Rosneft gas station in Moscow.

The U.S. joined the European Union in expanding sanctions to target Russian Arctic and shale-oil projects and further limit financing to Russian state-controlled companies, a move to put pressure on Moscow as Ukraine negotiates a long-term peace plan and closer ties to the EU.

The energy sanctions announced Friday, widely expected in recent days, will prevent Western energy firms from providing technology and services—other than financial services—to five Russian energy majors’ oil projects in the Arctic, deep offshore fields and shale, the U.S. Treasury Department said.

U.S. companies have two weeks to comply with the sanctions, which could impact partnerships such as Exxon Mobil Corp.’s pact with OAO Rosneft, one of the Russian energy firms targeted by the new measures.

The U.S. and EU also added OAO Sberbank, by far Russia’s biggest bank, to the list of financial institutions and companies that Western companies and individuals are barred from lending to beyond the short term. The length of financing allowed to the Russian firms was reduced to 30 days from 90 days under previous rounds of sanctions.

In addition, several defense firms were put on the sanctions list, and the U.S. Treasury moved to restrict financing to Rostec, a sprawling defense and industrial conglomerate owned by the Russian state.

In extending its own sanctions on Russia and rebels in eastern Ukraine, the EU added 15 companies and 24 individuals to its blacklist, including people linked to the rebels and Russian officials and oligarchs, and Russian lawmakers. The list includes Sergei Chemezov, one of Russian President Vladimir Putin’s known close associates and the chairman of Rostec.

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