US to levy fresh sanctions on Russia for using Iranian drones in Ukraine – media reports
The Biden administration is preparing new sanctions against Russia (Photo:Al Drago/Reuters)
The United States is set to levy fresh sanctions against Russia for its deployment of Iranian drones in Ukraine, newspaper The Wall Street Journal reported on Dec. 9.
It said the administration of U.S. President Joe Biden plans to hit several Russia defense industry entities tied to the transfer of the Iranian military drones that Moscow has been using to deadly effect in attacking Ukraine’s civilian infrastructure.
By penalizing Russia for its Iranian drone supplies, the United States says it aims to disrupt the deployment of a weapon that Ukrainians say has terrorized the population and is manufactured by Tehran’s U.S.-sanctioned weapons program.
Additionally, the United States has prepared sanctions against Russia’s Central Election Commission, which presides over an election system that Western officials broadly condemn as fraudulent and that has ensured dictator Vladimir Putin, a former spy, has retained control of the country for nearly a quarter of a century.
Sanctions targets also include officials allegedly responsible for Russia’s filtration camps for Ukrainians caught in Russian-occupied areas of Ukraine, where groups such as Human Rights Watch have alleged the military has tortured citizens and committed other war crimes.
The bulk of the expected sanctions are to be imposed under the Global Magnitsky Act, named after Sergei Magnitsky – a Russian lawyer and whistle-blower – who died in a Moscow jail after accusing officials of corruption. The United States, by sanctioning high-profile government, military and business officials accused of human-rights abuses and corruption, says it aims to hold them accountable, and to deter others.
These sanctions will freeze any assets the targets have within U.S. jurisdiction, preventing their travel to the United States and prohibiting business dealings with them. For Russian government and business officials, the actions could complicate their international travel and financing. By cutting companies’ access to the world’s largest markets, the sanctions can disrupt their operations and in some cases force their dissolution.
Russia has received hundreds of kamikaze drones from Iran: Mohajer-6, Shahed-129 and Shahed-191 – all of which have been used in the war against Ukraine.
According to Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy, Moscow has ordered a total of 2,400 drones from Tehran.
Earlier, U.S. media reported that the Iranian authorities also agreed to supply the Kremlin regime with 1,000 short-range surface-to-surface ballistic missiles.
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