Russia’s biggest chipmaker, other tech firms hit with US sanctions

WASHINGTON (AP) — The United States sanctioned a slew of Russian tech firms Thursday, including the country’s largest chipmaker, in the latest punitive move against Vladimir Putin’s “war machine.”

The US Treasury said the sanctions targeted networks and technology companies that were “instrumental” to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

Mikron, the largest Russian manufacturer and exporter of microelectronics, was among 21 entities and 13 individuals placed on the sanctions list, including the blocking of any property in the US.

“Russia not only continues to violate Ukraine’s sovereignty with its unprovoked aggression, it has also stepped up its attacks against civilians and population centers,” said US Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen.

“We will continue to target Putin’s war machine with sanctions from all angles, until this pointless war of choice ends,” he added.

Also named were AO NII-Vektor, a software and communication technology company, the hardware sector company T-Platforms, as well as the Molecular Electronics Research Institute (MERI), which works for the Russian government, said the Treasure.

A Mikron 1663RU1 16Mbit SRAM chip. (Wikimedia Commons/ZeptoBars)

As a result of the sanctions, all US properties of targeted individuals and companies are blocked and must be reported to the US government.

The sanctions also target Moscow-based OOO Serniya Engineering, which the Treasury says is at the center of a network that seeks to evade sanctions by working to hide end-users of “critical Western technology,” such as military agencies and Russian intelligence.

The sanctions named a number of people who were allegedly working on Serniya’s behalf.

In this file photo taken on March 10, 2022, US Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen listens during a panel discussion with women entrepreneurs during her visit to the Mi Casa Resource Center in Denver, Colorado. (Jason Connolly/Getty Images North America/AFP)

The Kremlin has worked hard to limit the effects on Russia’s economy of the unprecedented measures, which have affected everything from the central bank’s foreign exchange reserves to McDonald’s.

More than a month after the invasion launched on February 24, Moscow has faced heavy military losses for relatively little progress on the ground.

But analysts say factors including the change of seasons and even an upcoming entry into conscription could encourage Putin to push the operation in the coming months.

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