On February 23, 2024, the eve before Russia’s full-scale invasion of Ukraine officially enters its third year, the United States issued another sanctions package against Russia, taking particular aim at Russia’s financial sector, energy production revenue streams, and military-industrial complex. Specifically, the package sanctions more than 500 entities and individuals by having them added to the Specially Designated Nationals and Blocked Persons List by the Department of the Treasury and the Department of State, respectively, while the Department of Commerce imposes new export restrictions against nearly 100 entities by adding them to the Entity List maintained by the Bureau of Industry and Security. The targeted entities and individuals span across Europe, East Asia, Central Asia, and the Middle East, and are known for supplying critical technology and equipment to Russia’s military and for evading sanctions. Additionally, some of the targeted individuals were sanctioned because they were connected to the death of prominent opposition leader Aleksey Navalny, who died under mysterious circumstances in a Russian prison last week.

Perhaps the most notable inclusion in the sanctions package is the state-owned National Payment Card System Joint Stock Company, which operates Russia’s national payment system, known as Mir. Nonetheless, the package also targets two of Russia’s largest companies by revenue: SUEK, a transportation and logistics operation company that serves the Russian military, and Mechel, a major producer of specialty steels. The sanctions also target SPB Bank, which is owned by SPB Exchange—Russia’s second-largest stock exchange specializing in trading foreign shares—as well as companies involved in the Arctic LNG 2 energy project, and various manufacturers of weapons, metals, lubricants, industrial chemicals, electronics, robotics, ball bearings, and batteries used by the Russian military.

The United States did not act alone to escalate economic pressure on Russia this week.  Adopting its 13th sanctions package against Russia on February 23, 2024 as well, the European Union designated about 200 entities and individuals connected to Russia’s weapons procurement network. Similarly, Canada also imposed sanctions against 153 entities and 10 individuals known to support the Russian military through finance, logistics, and sanctions evasion on February 23, 2024. And earlier in the week, the United Kingdom levied 50 new sanctions against parties linked to Russia’s ammunition supply chain, and targeted 6 individuals known to oversee the Arctic prison colony where Navalny died. Notwithstanding the multilateral sanctions package imposed by the United States and Europe this week, though, there are still ongoing debates by the western allies about enacting even more aggressive measures to stymie Russia’s economic abilities to continue its full-scale invasion of Ukraine.

Still, the U.S. sanctions package to mark the second anniversary of Russia’s full-scale invasion of Ukraine is significant because it aligns with the ongoing trend of the United States and its allies to levy sanctions and export restrictions against Russia on each anniversary of the invasion. See Update of February 24, 2023 and Update of February 24, 2023, respectively.