US bans Russia from providing accounting and advisory services under new sanctions package

(The hill) – The White House announced on Sunday that the United States would bar Russian businesses and citizens from using American accounting, marketing and consulting services as part of a new sanctions package aimed at further punishing Moscow for his war in Ukraine.

The United States is also set to sanction three major Russian state-controlled TV stations and impose more export controls on Russia’s industrial sector, according to a White House fact sheet.

And the package includes new visa restrictions for 2,600 Russian and Belarusian officials as well as sanctions against Russian bank executives, including 27 Gazprombank executives.

“Today’s actions are a continuation of Russia’s systematic and methodical withdrawal from the global financial and economic system,” a senior official said. Biden an administration official said on a call with reporters previewing the actions. “The message is that there will be no safe haven for the Russian economy if [Russian President Vladimir] Putin’s invasion continues.

President Biden held a call with other Group of Seven (G-7) leaders and the President of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelensky Sunday during which the new measures were likely to be discussed.

G-7 leaders pledged on Sunday to “phase out or ban the import of Russian oil,” according to the White House fact sheet, which did not include a timeline for that pledge. The United States has already banned imports of Russian oil and natural gas, but European countries are much more dependent on Russian energy exports.

The announcement comes a day before Russia’s Victory Day, when some have speculated that Putin may try to declare a symbolic victory against Ukraine despite heavy losses and challenges from the Russian side.

The new US ban on accounting, marketing and advisory services to Russian individuals mirrors similar action taken by the UK last week. The senior Biden administration official confirmed that the ban did not extend to legal services, but noted that the administration is constantly reassessing its sanctions and may expand them.

“We judged, at least for now, that if there was a desire to seek due process through a US attorney, we would let that continue,” the official said.

The United States is also sanctioning Channel One Russia, Channel One Russian television and NTV Broadcasting Company, which the White House says are among the biggest recipients of foreign money.

“After today, no American company will be able to fund or support the disinformation machine that spins the truth about Putin’s barbaric invasion behind lies and deceit,” the senior administration official told reporters.

Meanwhile, new export controls will ban US exports of industrial goods such as engines and bulldozers to Russia. These restrictions are expected to come into effect on Monday, the official said.

The official also said that the sanctions imposed on the leaders of Gazprombank, which serves Russian gas giant Gazprom, represent the first time that the United States has sanctioned someone associated with this bank and signals that the financial institution is not a “safe haven” for Russia.

The United States and its allies have regularly imposed sanctions on Moscow in response to the Russian invasion of Ukraine, which began more than two months ago. The new American sanctions should be followed by complementary actions by the European Union.