• Fri. May 20th, 2022

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The U.S. extends technology restrictions to Belarus and the Russian oil industry.

The Biden administration ramped up restrictions on exporting certain technologies to Russia and Belarus on Wednesday, actions it said would degrade the ability to sustain a military campaign against Ukraine.

The new controls will prevent American companies from exporting certain sensitive items that would support defense, aerospace and maritime industries in Belarus, which the administration said had aided Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. That move will extend to Belarus the same restrictions the United States placed on Russia on Feb. 24, preventing items like technology and software from being routed through Belarus to restricted sectors in Russia, the department said.

Companies around the world that use American software or technology to manufacture their products also will be barred from sending certain sensitive items to Belarus, while Belarusian military entities will face even tougher limitations on the global goods they can purchase.

The Commerce Department also said it would take action to stem the flow of important technologies to Russian oil refineries, which provide a key revenue source for the Russian military. The Biden administration previously avoided imposing certain financial sanctions on the Russian oil and natural gas industries in order to maintain the global energy supply and avoid fueling inflation. But the administration said the measure would take effect over time, gradually degrading Russia’s status as an energy supplier without harming American consumers.

Certain companies and institutions that have supported the Russian or the Belarusian military will also be added to a blacklist that places restrictions on their purchase of American products.

Gina M. Raimondo, the secretary of commerce, said the resolve of the Ukrainian people had “galvanized a robust international response.”

“The Commerce Department will continue to lead strong, coordinated action with our global allies and partners to apply maximum pressure on Russia, its enabler Belarus and any other parties that may seek to support them,” she said.