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Britain, U.S. Broaden Sanctions On Russian Oil Company, Airlines

The headquarters of Russia's state-owned oil giant Rosneft is seen through the walls of the Kremlin. (file photo)

The headquarters of Russia's state-owned oil giant Rosneft is seen through the walls of the Kremlin. (file photo)

Britain and the United States on August 2 further expanded their sanctions on Russian individuals and companies over Russia's invasion of Ukraine.

The British government said it reimposed sanctions on two former board members of oil company Rosneft, Didier Casimiro and Zeljko Runje, while the U.S. government said it would add 25 Airbus airplanes for alleged violations of export control rules.

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Britain said Casimiro and Runje are subject to asset freezes and travel bans for "obtaining a benefit from or supporting the government of Russia by working as a manager of a government of Russia-affiliated entity."

The two had been included in an initial wave of sanctions announced in March under rules that allowed Britain to copy sanctions imposed by allies, but they were delisted in July for unknown reasons.

Casimiro was designated by the U.S. government in February 2020. The U.S. Treasury Department said at the time that he was chairman of the board of directors and president of Rosneft Trading, a subsidiary of Russian state-controlled energy giant Rosneft Oil Company created to assist the company in carrying out its foreign projects.

The Treasury Department accused Casimiro of brokering the sale and transport of Venezuelan crude oil. Then-Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said the United States was determined to prevent the “looting” of Venezuela’s oil assets by the “corrupt” regime of President Nicolas Maduro.

The British sanctions against Casimiro and Runje came as the U.S. Commerce Department said it would add 25 Airbus airplanes operated by Russian airlines believed to violate U.S. export controls as part of the Biden administration's sanctions over the Russian invasion of Ukraine.

The 25 Airbus airplanes are operated by Ural Airlines, S7 Airlines, Red Wings, Yamal Airlines, Nordwind, and I-Fly. The orders aim to deny the airlines access to refueling, spare parts, and maintenance services.

"Today's identification of 25 foreign-produced aircraft further degrades Russian airlines’ ability to operate their fleets of both U.S. and EU airplanes," said Commerce Department Export Enforcement chief Matthew Axelrod in a statement provided to Reuters.

The department has warned companies and other entities around the world that any refueling, maintenance, repair, or spare parts or services violate U.S. export controls and subject companies to U.S. enforcement actions.

With reporting by Reuters

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