President Joe Biden is seen in a conference call with the leaders of the G7 and Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky on Sunday. The United States announced new sanctions on Russia after Biden met with the leaders. Photo courtesy President Joe Biden/Twitter
May 8 (UPI) -- The United States announced new sanctions on Russia after President Joe Biden met with the leaders of the Group of Seven and Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky on Sunday.
"Our unprecedented sanctions are already exacting an immense toll on Russia's economy and our export controls have strangled Russia's access to critical technology and the supply chains it needs to sustain its military ambitions," the White House said in a statement.
"Putin's war is projected to wipe out the last 15 years of economic gains in Russia. As a result of our export controls, Russia is struggling to replenish its military weapons and equipment."
The White House said that the United States will sanction three of Russia's most-viewed television stations controlled by the Kremlin -- including Russia-1, Channel One Russia and NTV. Western companies were among the top advertisers at the stations last year.
A senior administration official said on a press call that U.S. advertising dollars, broadcast technology, video cameras, microphones and equipment for sound will no longer be available to Russia's state TV stations.
"Some of you have reported on the lies upon lies that are spread on these mouthpieces of the Kremlin, such as claiming the people of Bucha were not killed until days after Russians left the region, or that the placement of dead Ukrainian bodies was staged, or that the brave Ukrainians defending their country are actually the aggressors," the official told journalists on the call.
The U.S. will also now prohibit U.S. citizens from providing certain business services such as accounting and corporate formation or management consulting to anyone inside Russia.
"These services are key to Russian companies and elites building wealth, thereby generating revenue for Putin's war machine, and to trying to hide that wealth and evade sanction," the White House said.
"This action builds on previous prohibitions to restrict the export of goods related to aerospace, marine, electronics, technology, and defense and related materiel sectors of the Russian economy."
The entire G7 -- which includes Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan and Britain -- has now pledged to phase out and ban the import of Russian oil, which the United States has already done.
"No export is more important to Putin than oil; it's the main artery of his economy," the senior administration official said. "And the [European Union] is now on the cusp of joining the U.S., Canada, and the UK in cutting off this trade."
The White House said it would also impose new rules to restrict Russia's industrial sector, including controls on such things as industrial engines and bulldozers.
"These new controls will further limit Russia's access to items and revenue that could support its military capabilities," the White House said in its statement.
The senior administration official said the G7 picked goods, services and technologies on which to place controls because European countries and G7 partners in Asia were the dominant suppliers and could more effectively limit Russia's access to them.
"We don't think Russia has many options other than to try to produce these goods or services domestically, which I think would be a very tall task," the official said.
Also sanctioned: Promtekhnologiya, a company that makes rifles and other weapons that have been used in Ukraine, seven shipping companies and a marine towing company along with eight executives from Sberbank and 27 from Gazprombank.
The senior administration official noted that Gazprombank itself has not been sanctioned because it is the main way Russia sells gas to Europe, which is still reliant on it for energy.
"The United States imposed approximately 2,600 visa restrictions on Russian and Belarusian officials in response to their ongoing efforts to undermine the sovereignty, territorial integrity, or political independence of Ukraine," the White House said.
The senior administration official added that Britain and the United States are actively talking about what sanctions to broaden, including the possibility of sanctioning legal services in the future.
"Legal services are not on the list. And we made a judgment, at least for now, that if there was a desire to seek due process through a U.S. lawyer, we would allow that to continue," the official said.
"But we're reevaluating, you know, the breadth of these services, sanctions every day."
The announcement came as Europe and the global community commemorate the end of World War II in Europe and the end of fascism.
"Through its invasion of and actions in Ukraine since 2014, Russia has violated the international rules-based order, particularly the UN Charter, conceived after the Second World War to spare successive generations from the scourge of war," the leaders of the G7 said in a separate statement.
The leaders said that Zelensky said on the call that Ukraine aims to secure its ability to protect itself in the future and that the country is committed to working with the group to support its economic stability as the country rebuilds.
"We will pursue our ongoing military and defense assistance to the Ukrainian Armed Forces, continue supporting Ukraine in defending its networks against cyber incidents, and expand our cooperation, including on information security," the G7 said.
"We will continue to support Ukraine in increasing its economic and energy security."
The G7 leaders said that their countries will "spare no effort" to hold Russian President Vladimir Putin, as well as the Lukashenko regime in Belarus, accountable for the war in Ukraine.