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New U.S. sanctions target Russia ship builder and diamond mining company

WASHINGTON, DC - FEBRUARY 28: A list of the different ways recent U.S. Sanctions against Russia has impacted Russia's economy is displayed during a press briefing with the White House press secretary Jen Psaki on February on February 28, 2022 in Washington, DC. During the briefing Psaki previewed the remarks U.S. President Joe Biden will give during his first State of the Union address tomorrow. (Photo by Anna Moneymaker/Getty Images)
White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki explained the impacts of U.S. sanctions against Russia in Washington, D.C., in February. The latest round of sanctions targeted Russian a warship manufacturing corporation and Russia's largest diamond mining company.

In its latest round of punitive actions against the Kremlin, the State Department issued sanctions Thursday against a shipbuilding corporation - one of Russia's largest state-owned enterprises - and the world's largest diamond mining company.

The United States and 30 allies across the globe have come together to impose the largest range of economic restrictions in history against Russia for its invasion of and war against Ukraine. The State Department and U.S. Treasury are targeting two of Russia's largest state-owned enterprises: Joint Stock Company United Shipbuilding (USC), which develops and constructs warships; Public Joint Stock Company Alrosa, a firm that the U.S. calls the world's largest diamond mining company.

Eight USC board members and 28 of the corporation's subsidiaries are also tied to the sanctions. According to a Department of State news release, the warships designed and constructed by USC have been used to attack Ukraine.

Meanwhile, the Treasury's has blocked business with Alrosa, which is responsible for 90% of Russia's diamond mining capacity, and over a quarter of the world's diamond mining industry, according to the U.S. Diamonds are one of Russia's top trades, which brought in over $4 billion in revenue last year, a Treasury news release said.

"Our actions today, alongside the actions we have taken since the beginning of President Putin's brutal and unjustified war in Ukraine, are designed to reinforce each other and intensify over time," Secretary of State Antony Blinken said in a statement. "As long as the Kremlin continues its brutal assault on Ukraine and its people, we stand united with our allies and partners in imposing additional costs on Russia."

In tandem with Joe Biden's executive orderbarring new investments in Russia, the Treasury cut blocked Russia's largest state and privately owned banks Wednesday. Additionally, several family members of Russian President Vladimir Putin and Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov have also been sanctioned, along with 21 individuals who serve on the Russian Security Council.

The sweeping set of sanctions came after news broke last weekend that Russian troops had allegedly committed war crimes against Ukrainian civilians in Bucha. The White House said Russia's gross domestic product could contract up to 15% in 2022, which would eradicate 15 years of Russian economic progress. Copyright 2022 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.