On February 21, 2023, just a few days before February 24, which marks the one-year anniversary of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, Deputy Secretary of the Treasury Wally Adeyemo spoke on the Biden administration’s “comprehensive strategy to support Ukraine” including ongoing efforts to deny Russia’s ability “to use the money they have to buy the weapons they need” and “to reduce the revenues that President Putin can use to fund his war of choice and prop up Russia’s economy.” Going forward, Deputy Secretary Adeyemo indicated that U.S. export controls and sanctions will continue to prevent Russia from accessing the equipment it needs and that sanctions “will make it harder for the Kremlin to use the remaining resources Russia can access to pay for the weapons they need.”
Adeyemo’s speech provides an overview of the multilateral sanctions and export control that have been put in place by the United States and a coalition of more than 30 nations, and continued efforts to isolate Russia. He stated that the coalition “will force those that fail to implement our sanctions and export controls to choose between their economic ties with our coalition of countries — representing more than half of the world’s GDP — or providing material support to Russia, an economy that is becoming more isolated every day.” While providing no specific actions or further sanctions, Adeyemo indicated that a next step would be countering Russia’s efforts to evade sanctions. These efforts will focus on three elements:
- Continuing to work closely with allies and partners, especially in the G7 and EU, and using “all of our economic tools to give countries, companies, and individuals a choice: to do business with a coalition representing half of the global economy, or to provide material support to Russia.”
- Identifying and eliminating “specific channels through which Russia attempts to equip and fund its military” by denying Russia access to dual-use goods being repurposed and used for the war and cutting off manufacturing facilities from inputs needed to fill Russia’s military production gaps.
- Pressuring companies and jurisdictions known to be allowing or facilitating evasion including “several of Russia’s neighbors” and other countries who have condemned the invasion of Ukraine but “are falling short of their obligations to enforce the sanctions” the U.S. and wider coalition have imposed.
Additional sanctions are expected as the anniversary date of Russia’s invasion approaches. Adeyemo closed his remarks by stating that the United States is “committed to continuing to support the people of Ukraine and to redoubling our efforts to hold Russia accountable—especially by countering efforts to evade our sanctions.”