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Treasury Department Sanctions Russian Tech, Electronics Firms

March 31, 2022
Mikron, one of the companies targeted, is responsible for more than half of all Russian microelectronics exports.

The Treasury Department today slapped new sanctions on 21 entities and 13 individuals associated with the Russian electronics and electronics manufacturing sectors as retaliation for the country’s invasion of Ukraine. The list includes Mikron Co., Russia’s largest semiconductor manufacturer, software communications and hardware companies the Treasury Department says have aided the Russian government and war effort, and government-backed hackers.

The decision follows the Department’s determination that the aerospace, marine, and electronics sectors of the economy are fair game for swift sanctions under an executive order released last year by President Biden. Today’s expansion adds those sectors to the list of Russian-economy sectors already targeted by sanctions, including financial services, technology, and defense materiel.

In a statement, Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen said the sanctions were a continued bid to harm Russia’s ability to wage war in its Eastern neighbor.

“Russia not only continues to violate the sovereignty of Ukraine with its unprovoked aggression but also has escalated its attacks striking civilians and population centers,” said Yellen. “We will continue to target Putin’s war machine with sanctions from every angle, until this senseless war of choice is over.”

In addition to Mikron, the Treasury Department targeted two other technology companies for sanctions, AO NII-Vektor and the Molecular Electronics Research Institute.

Mikron is Russia’s largest microelectronics manufacturer and is allegedly responsible for more than half of all Russian microelectronics exports. The company has previously worked with the Russian government on computer chips for a financial services system known as Mir, which, the Treasury Department notes, was developed following earlier U.S. sanctions of Russia.

AO NII-Vektor, the Treasury Department says, is based in Saint Petersburg where it supports the construction of Liana satellites, which are used to track aircraft, ships, and ground vehicles—including, the Treasury says, during Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. MERI researches, develops, and manufactures computers and navigation equipment, including for the Russian government.

The March 31 announcement also hits companies based in Russia and other companies the Treasury Department says were used as fronts for two Russian companies trying to evade sanctions. OOO Serniya Engineering and OOO Sertal, the Department says, used companies based in the U.K., Spain, and Singapore to procure sanctioned technology.

Lastly, individual sanctions were applied to Russian people suspected of developing and conducting cyberattacks. Those sanctions name employees of the State Research Center of the Russian Federation Central Scientific Research Institute of Chemistry and Mechanics the Justice Department says were involved in attempted cyberattacks against power plants in the U.S. and other countries.

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