US blocks Russian access to foreign fertilizers and valves

Bestinau got that-

A tractor sows sunflower seeds and fertilizes the soil with chemicals at the collective farm “Leninskoye znamya” (Lenin banner), about 40 km (25 miles) southwest of Rostov-on-Don, April 25, 2011. REUTERS/Vladimir Konstantinov/File Photo

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WASHINGTON, April 8 (Reuters) – The United States on Friday widened its export restrictions against Russia and Belarus, restricting access to imports of items such as fertilizers and pipe valves as it tries to increase pressure on Moscow and Minsk after the Russian invasion of Ukraine.

President Joe Biden’s administration also restricted flights of US-made aircraft owned, controlled, or leased by Belarusians from flying to Belarus “as part of the US government’s response to the actions of Belarus in support of Russia’s aggressive behavior in Ukraine.”

Washington has sought to deepen sanctions against Russia and ally Belarus after a withdrawal of Russian troops from northern Kiev revealed mass graves in the city of Bucha.

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On Wednesday, the United States targeted Russian banks and elites with a new round of sanctions, including a ban on Americans investing in Russia, in response to what President Joe Biden denounced as “major war crimes” committed by Russian forces in Ukraine.

Russian President Vladimir Putin’s invasion, which began on February 24, is the bloodiest conflict in Europe since World War II. Russia calls it a “special military operation” aimed at protecting civilians.

The Commerce Department said it will require Russians and Belarusians to obtain a special license when they want to obtain a large number of goods from US suppliers and promised to refuse those licenses. The goods include fertilizer, pipe valves, ball bearings and other parts, materials and chemicals.

The government said items made abroad with US tools also require a US license, which the government plans to refuse.

“It’s proof that they will continue to tighten export controls and target for the entire economy those categories that they have not yet done,” said Emily Kilcrease, senior fellow at the Center for a New American Security and former deputy assistant US Trade Representative, noting that the Department of Commerce has now further restricted Russian access to all items it controls exports. “This is important.”

Actions in late February and March placed unprecedented controls on exports of US and foreign products destined for Russia or Belarus. Those measures, coordinated with more than 30 other countries, restrict a wide range of raw materials, software and technology.

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Reporting by Alexandra Alper and Karen Freifeld Editing by Chris Reese; Editing by David Gregorio

Our Standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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