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U.S. imposes sweeping export restrictions on technology to Russia

President Joe Biden holds up a semiconductor at the White House in Washington, D.C. on  February 24, 2021. Exactly a year later, his administration imposed measures to restrict Russia's ability to acquire the chips. Pool File Photo by Doug Mills/UPI
President Joe Biden holds up a semiconductor at the White House in Washington, D.C. on  February 24, 2021. Exactly a year later, his administration imposed measures to restrict Russia's ability to acquire the chips. Pool File Photo by Doug Mills/UPI | License Photo

Feb. 25 (UPI) -- The Biden administration has announced sweeping export restrictions aimed at denying Russia access to technology that would aid its military in retaliation to its invasion of Ukraine.

The Russia-specific measures prevent the Kremlin access to sensitive items its defense, aerospace and maritime industries require, including semiconductors, computers, telecommunications, information security equipment, lasers and sensors.

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The U.S. Commerce Department said Thursday the export control measures are "the most comprehensive application" of its authorities on U.S. and foreign items produced using U.S. equipment, software and blueprints.

The punitive move was done in conjunction with international partners and the Biden administration said it expects others to join the coalition.

"Russia's attack on Ukraine is an attack on the democratic, rules-based order and the United States must meet this aggression with real consequences," Deputy Secretary of Commerce Don Graves said in a statement. "This coordinated policy is a strong statement of solidarity from the United States and the international people of Ukraine."

Forty-nine Russian military entities were also added to a list further restricting their access to technology. The European Union, Japan, Australia, Britain, Canada and New Zealand have announced plans to implement similar restrictions, the department said.

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"This powerful international response will have serious consequences for the Russian military and defense sector and sends a clear message of our solidarity with the Ukrainian people and additional countries are expected to join this effort," it added.

The control measures were announced as President Joe Biden unveiled a swath of new sanctions on the Kremlin, which he said would "impose severe cost on the Russian economy, both immediately and over time."

Several countries have imposed punitive measures against Russia after it invaded Ukraine early Thursday.

Russia has said such measures will not thwart its attack, which President Vladimir Putin said was a "special military operation" to demilitarize and denazify the country.

The invasion occurred as the United States warned for weeks that Russia was going to attack Ukraine.

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