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Washington D.C.
Thursday, June 1, 2023

U.S. Imposes New Sanctions on Russia and Approves F-16 Fighter Jets for Ukraine

Both Biden and his National Security Advisor, Jake Sullivan, have underlined that the jets are to be used solely for defensive purposes and not to launch attacks on Russian territory.

In coordination with the G7 nations, Australia, and other partners, the United States is imposing new sanctions on Russia for its illegal war in Ukraine as well as approving F-16 fighter jets to be used in Ukraine’s defense. 

The new sanctions announced by the Department of State implement commitments made at the G7 Leaders’ Summit in Japan yesterday and demonstrate the shared resolve to hold Russia accountable for its mounting atrocities in Ukraine. These sanctions also reinforce the commitment the United States and its partners have made to taking action against those who aid the Kremlin in Ukraine by circumventing U.S. sanctions and export control measures.

As part of these actions, the Department of State is imposing sanctions on or identifying as blocked property over 200 entities, individuals, vessels, and aircraft. The actions include designations of targets across Russia’s defense and related materiel, technology, and metals and mining sectors. They also include the designation of entities and individuals involved in expanding Russia’s future energy production and capacity. The Department of State says it is continuing to target entities and individuals that have engaged in the systematic and unlawful deportation of Ukraine’s children and the theft and transportation of stolen grain from Ukraine.

The State Department adds that the latest actions also include designations of an international network of entities engaged in the procurement of components for the Russia-based entity responsible for the manufacture of the Orlan drone, which it says Russian forces are currently employing in their illegal war against Ukraine, and the “Russia-installed puppet authorities” in parts of Ukraine’s territory.

As the G7 nations gathered in Hiroshima for the summit, President Joe Biden informed the other global leaders that the U.S. would allow its allies to supply Ukraine with advanced fighter jets, including American-made F-16s. U.S. troops will also help to train Ukrainian pilots to use the jets. The news has been welcomed by Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky who has flown into Hiroshima to meet the world leaders today. In February, Biden ruled out sending or approving the use of U.S. advanced fighter jets to support Ukraine, but noted that this decision could change if the situation called for it. Currently, no country has committed to supply the aircraft but the training will take time and it is likely that at least one nation will be willing to provide the F-16s by the time Ukrainian troops are fully trained. Both Biden and his National Security Advisor, Jake Sullivan, have underlined that the jets are to be used solely for defensive purposes and not to launch attacks on Russian territory. There is however some disagreement between Russia and the West over what constitutes Russian territory, particularly with regard to southern and eastern Ukraine.

In addition to the sanctions announced by the State Department, the Department of the Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control has announced additional action and the Department of Commerce will be taking further export control measures.

Kylie Bielby
Kylie Bielby has more than 20 years' experience in reporting and editing a wide range of security topics, covering geopolitical and policy analysis to international and country-specific trends and events. Before joining GTSC's Homeland Security Today staff, she was an editor and contributor for Jane's, and a columnist and managing editor for security and counter-terror publications.

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