(CNN) While China and Russia have strengthened relations since the Kremlin’s brutal invasion of Ukraine, the United States has seen no evidence that China has provided systematic material support to the Kremlin as Russian President Vladimir Putin and his government search for ways to avoid Western sanctions and roll back its military. According to senior officials of the US Treasury Department.
China has, so far, been unwilling to provide material support to Russia on a large scale and in a significant way, a senior Treasury official said, pointing instead to Russian efforts to obtain materials from North Korea and Iran. These statements come almost a month after the disclosure of US intelligence information that China is open to providing Russia with the required military and financial assistance, and US National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan. warned China’s top diplomat Yang Jiechi on US concerns about such a move.
With relations between Washington and Beijing historically low, senior officials attributed China’s decision to hold off so far on more systemic assistance to efforts across the sanctions coalition — from public U.S. comments to energetic and direct messages the Europeans have given China.
As Russia enters its second year of brutal invasion of Ukraine, the Biden administration has continued to take steps to close loopholes in Western allies’ sanctions regime as they expand intelligence sharing with US allies and jurisdictions where Russia has sought to sidestep sanctions and export controls. .
The United States and its allies have also taken more direct action, imposing sanctions on a Chinese satellite company that provides intelligence to Russian forces in January, and placing some Chinese companies on the US export control list.
As part of this effort, and as leaders of the global financial system come to Washington, D.C., next week for the Spring Meetings of the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank, senior U.S. Treasury and intelligence officials will share information with relevant partners to help countries and companies understand. These senior officials also said how the Kremlin continues to use its intelligence apparatus to try to evade the unprecedented sanctions regime imposed by the United States and its allies.
Meetings next week with countries the United States is concerned about are part of a broader push from the Treasury Department over the next month as senior officials continue to deploy around the world to strategize with U.S. allies and partners to deepen cooperation and ramp up pressure on countries key to Russia’s sanctions evasion. and backfill efforts.
Two of the Treasury Department’s top sanctions officials — Brian Nelson and Liz Rosenberg — will continue the U.S. government’s extensive efforts internationally to talk to specific countries and their companies about the risks of providing support to Russia and share detailed information about evading sanctions. Nelson will travel to Switzerland, Italy, Austria and Germany to compare notes with their counterparts and continue to share intelligence on the ways Russia is trying to evade sanctions; Rosenberg will travel to Kazakhstan in Central Asia, a region with a long history of relations with Russia, and in which officials have expressed concerns that Russia is obtaining the materials.
Despite the impact of sanctions on the Russian economy, some observers have pointed to concerns about Moscow’s ability to evade sanctions and redirect trade routes to continue to obtain some of the technology and financing needed to fund its war machine through countries in its borders and more permissive jurisdictions, such as the UAE. United Arab Emirates and Turkey.
But in recent months, officials have also begun to see some results from their public and private efforts. Turkish officials told the United States last month that their government was taking further action to prevent sanctioned goods from transiting directly into Russia, according to a source familiar with the discussion.
Since Russia launched its bloody war on Ukraine, the United States has imposed Thousands of penalties Against Russian politicians, oligarchs and corporations, cut off the Russian Central Bank from its dollar-denominated reserves as well as the global financial messaging system, undermined Russia’s defense industrial base and imposed a ceiling on the prices of Russian oil and petroleum products.
One of the most successful efforts, the price cap, is already having a visible impact with Russia’s Finance Ministry announcing on Friday a $29 billion budget shortfall for the first quarter of 2023, according to Reuters.
In a speech earlier this year marking the anniversary of the Russian invasion, US Deputy Secretary of the Treasury Wally Adimo publicly warned the Russian intelligence services that the United States was monitoring and suppressing their efforts.
“We know that Russia is actively looking for ways to get around these sanctions… In fact, one of the ways we know our sanctions are working is that Russia has tasked its intelligence services — the FSB and the GRU — to find ways to get around these sanctions,” Adeymo said in his February speech.
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