US Restricts High-Tech Defense Exports to Russia

WASHINGTON, April 28 (RIA Novosti) – The United States has restricted exports of high-tech defense products to Russia, the State Department said Monday.

“Effective immediately, the department’s Directorate of Defense Trade Controls will deny pending applications for export or re-export of any high technology defense articles or services,” State Department spokesperson Jen Psaki said in a statement.

“In addition, the department is taking actions to revoke any existing export licenses which meet these conditions. All other pending applications and existing licenses will receive a case-by-case evaluation to determine their contribution to Russia’s military capabilities,” Psaki added, urging Russia “to honor the commitments it made in Geneva on April 17 to deescalate the situation in Ukraine.”

According to Psaki, the US will continue to adjust its export licensing policies toward Russia.

On Monday, the US imposed sanctions against seven individual Russians and 17 Russian companies. White House Press Secretary Jay Carney said the sanctions were in response to Crimea’s reunification with Russia, which the United States does not acknowledge, as well as Russia’s stance on Ukraine.

“At the contact group meeting in Geneva on April 17, 2014, Russia, Ukraine, the United States, and the European Union decided on a number of steps to deescalate the situation in eastern Ukraine, including refraining from further violence or provocative acts. Since April 17, Russia has done nothing to meet its Geneva commitments and in fact has further escalated the crisis. Russia’s involvement in the recent violence in eastern Ukraine is indisputable,” Carney said in a statement.

Last month, the West imposed targeted sanctions on Russia, including asset freezes and visa bans, on a number of senior Russian officials and businessmen whom the West accuses of involvement in Crimea’s reunification with Russia. Western officials have warned of further sanctions ever since. After the talks in Geneva on April 17, Washington said tighter sanctions could be imposed on Russia if the situation in Ukraine deteriorates.

Moscow has repeatedly warned that talking in the language of sanctions is “inappropriate and counterproductive” and warned its Western partners about the “boomerang effect” that sanctions would have.

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