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The U.S. Treasury Department on May 1 imposed new sanctions on hundreds of companies and people tied to Russia's weapons development program as part of its continuing effort to limit Russia's ability to access the materials it needs to "prosecute its illegal war against Ukraine."

The department said in a news release that the goal of the sanctions was to "further degrade Russia's ability to sustain its war machine."

The Treasury Department imposed sanctions on nearly 200 targets, while the State Department designated more than 80.

The sanctions aim to limit Russia's military-industrial base, chemical weapons programs, and people and firms in third countries that help Russia acquire weapons components.

They also target more than a dozen Chinese firms accused of helping Russia find workarounds to previously announced sanctions. The new measures also aim to punish individuals tied to the death of Russian opposition politician Aleksei Navalny.

The "Treasury has consistently warned that companies will face significant consequences for providing material support for Russia's war, and the U.S. is imposing them today on almost 300 targets," Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen said.

The actions "will further disrupt and degrade Russia's war efforts by going after its military industrial base and the evasion networks that help supply it," she said in the news release.

Included in the new sanctions announcement are importers of ingredients used to produce gunpowder, rocket propellants, and other explosives. Also included are Russian government entities and people tied to Russia's chemical and biological weapons programs and firms related to Russia's natural gas construction projects.

The Treasury Department's news release said firms in China, Azerbaijan, Belgium, Slovakia, Turkey, and the United Arab Emirates are accused of helping Russia acquire technology and equipment from abroad.

The State Department sanctions target three people in connection to the death of Navalny, who died in February in a Russian Arctic prison. Russian authorities say he died of natural causes. His followers believe he was killed by the authorities, which the Kremlin denies.

Added to the U.S. sanctions list are the director of the correctional colony in Russia where Navalny was held for the majority of his imprisonment, the head of the solitary confinement detachment, and the head of the medical unit at the Arctic colony where he was imprisoned before his death.

The officials oversaw the cells where Navalny was kept in solitary confinement, the walking yard where he allegedly collapsed and died, and Navalny's health, including in the immediate aftermath of his collapse, the State Department said.

The sanctions freeze any assets the entities and individuals hold in U.S. jurisdiction, block them from using the U.S. financial system, and bar American citizens from dealing with them.

By RFE/RL 

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