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US sanctions ‘world’s largest diamond mining firm’

The United States has imposed another layer of sanctions on Moscow, this time targeting state-owned enterprises, including one of the world’s largest mining companies and Russia’s top shipbuilding firm. 

The Treasury and State Departments unveiled the new penalties on Thursday, saying they would hit Russia’s Alrosa mining company and the United Shipbuilding Corporation, citing the ongoing attack on Ukraine.

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“These sanctions will continue to apply pressure to key entities that enable and fund Russia’s unprovoked war,” senior Treasury official Brian Nelson said, also vowing to continue efforts to “restrict the Kremlin’s access to assets.”

Alrosa is the world’s largest diamond mining operation by volume and is responsible for around 90% of Russia’s capacity, with its exports totaling more than $4.5 billion last year alone. It was previously identified as a potential candidate for sanctions under an executive order issued a little over one year ago.

READ MORE: EU Parliament approves total Russian energy ban

The United Shipbuilding Corporation, meanwhile, was said to produce “almost all of Russia’s warships” and was penalized separately by the State Department alongside 28 subsidiary firms and eight individuals on its board. 

As a result, all US-based properties belonging to the two companies and their subsidiaries will be seized, the Treasury Department continued, noting that American citizens will also be barred from doing business with the targeted entities.

The measures follow a flurry of recent sanctions on Moscow from the Biden administration and a long line of Western allies, designed to “cripple” and “isolate” Russia’s economy. Earlier on Thursday, the European Union voted for a full embargo on Russian energy, though the non-binding resolution may allow some member states to skirt the penalties, namely countries that remain dependent on Russian oil, coal, or gas. The proposal passed overwhelmingly in a 513-22 vote, with 19 abstentions. 

Washington previously imposed an outright ban on imports of Russian coal, gas, and oil, with the White House declaring that the US should “reduce [its] collective dependence on Russian energy and keep the pressure mounting” on President Vladimir Putin. The ban was codified by lawmakers on Thursday in two separate votes.

READ MORE: Biden makes prediction about Russian economy

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