STREAMING NOW: Watch Now

US sanctions Chinese military for buying Russian weapons

The US imposed sanctions Thursday against China's military for its purchases of Russian military equipment i...

Posted: Sep 21, 2018 3:52 PM
Updated: Sep 21, 2018 3:52 PM

The US imposed sanctions Thursday against China's military for its purchases of Russian military equipment in a move US officials said is meant to punish Moscow for its "malign activities," including attacks on American elections.

"Today's actions are not intended to undermine the military capabilities or combat readiness of any country," the State Department said in a statement, "but rather to impose costs on Russia in response to its interference in the United States election process, its unacceptable behavior in eastern Ukraine, and other malign activities."

Continents and regions

Eastern Europe

Embargoes and sanctions

Europe

International relations

International relations and national security

Military

Military operations

North America

Russia

The Americas

United States

Unrest, conflicts and war

Asia

China

East Asia

Weapons and arms

2016 Presidential election

Elections (by type)

Elections and campaigns

Government and public administration

Government bodies and offices

Government departments and authorities

Intelligence services

Investigations

National security

Political candidates

Politics

Russia meddling investigation

US Federal elections

US Presidential elections

Armed forces

Military weapons

The penalties were applied under a law that requires the US to sanction anyone undertaking significant transactions with certain people affiliated with Russian intelligence and military services, including arms manufacturers. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo also expanded that blacklist Thursday, adding the names of 33 Russians to bring the total roster to 72 people.

Pompeo, in consultation with Treasury Secretary Stephen Mnuchin, imposed sanctions on the Chinese military's Equipment Development Department and its director, Li Shangfu, for purchasing Su-35 combat aircraft and a S-400 surface-to-air missile system from Russia.

"This is a significant step," a senior administration official told reporters. The official said it was the first time anyone has been sanctioned for doing business with people on the blacklist of Russian operatives.

That list is mandated by the Countering America's Adversaries Through Sanctions Act, passed by Congress amid concern that President Donald Trump would not take tough action against Russia and could even move to ease sanctions on Moscow.

The official was unable to say how much the Chinese company had spent on the Russian equipment, but said deliveries had taken place in December and January.

The goal of expanding the blacklist, the administration official said, was to make people "think twice" about doing business with anyone on it. "We hope (it) will be a signal to avoid to doing business with these people," the official said.

Chinese Foreign Ministry Spokesman Geng Shuang said Friday Beijing "expresses its indignation" over the sanctions, and was already in "solemn negotiation" with Washington.

"(The sanctions) have severely violated the basic norms of international relations and damaged the relations between the two countries and two militaries," Geng said at a daily press conference.

"We strongly urge the US side to correct the mistakes immediately and revoke the so-called sanctions. Otherwise the US has to bear the consequences of it."

Expanded blacklist adds Russians

The newly expanded blacklist includes the 25 Russian nationals who were indicted by special counsel Robert Mueller for interfering in the 2016 presidential election by hacking Democratic targets and spreading propaganda on social media. The State Department announcement said all of these individuals are involved in the "intelligence sector" of the Russian government.

This includes the Russian troll farm known as the Internet Research Agency and its patron, Yevgeny Prigozhin, an oligarch who has close ties to Russian President Vladimir Putin. Prigozhin has ridiculed the criminal charges and is unlikely ever to enter a US courtroom.

The US also blacklisted the director of the Russian military intelligence agency known as the GRU and a dozen GRU officers who were indicted in June for allegedly hacking the Democratic National Committee and Hillary Clinton's campaign chairman in 2016. Private emails from both targets were published by WikiLeaks before the election, roiling the race and giving Trump's campaign a boost.

A senior administration official stressed that the blacklist "is not itself a sanctions imposition; nothing specifically happens to someone by virtue of being on that list" but it is meant to signal that "if anyone else engages in a significant transition" with people on the list, they could face sanctions.

Earlier this year the Treasury Department sanctioned the Russian nationals indicted by the special counsel, barring US citizens from doing business with them. The State Department's step Thursday raises the prospect that foreigners might also face penalties for engaging with those on the list.

The people on the blacklist will likely remain in Russia, where they have safe haven and won't be extradited to the US, so the Treasury sanctions and State blacklists are likely the only punishment they'll face from US authorities.

Since Russia is the world's second largest weapons seller, after the US, the law raised the awkward prospect that Washington could be in the position of sanctioning allies who buy military equipment from Moscow.

The client list of these blacklisted Russian entities includes US counterterrorism partners such as Morocco, Algeria, the United Arab Emirates and Egypt. Qatar is a Russian customer, as well as crucial NATO ally Turkey. Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said Aug. 31 that his country will purchase the S-400 system as soon as possible.

The senior administration official said the US would distinguish between small sales and major purchases as it considered whether to apply sanctions.

"We are not targeting things such as simply the provision of spare parts and maintenance," the official said, adding that the administration would focus on "much bigger ticket items" that make for a "significant qualitative change in the nature of equipment shipped abroad."

The official said the Countering America's Adversaries Through Sanctions Act had had the effect of delaying "several billion dollars' worth of arms transfers" from Russia to other countries, "but since China has now gone ahead and done what is clearly a significant transaction ... we feel it necessary and indeed are required by the law to take this step today."

Huntsville
Few Clouds
68° wxIcon
Hi: 91° Lo: 68°
Feels Like: 68°
Florence
Clear
70° wxIcon
Hi: 95° Lo: 73°
Feels Like: 70°
Fayetteville
Clear
68° wxIcon
Hi: 92° Lo: 69°
Feels Like: 68°
Decatur
Clear
65° wxIcon
Hi: 92° Lo: 69°
Feels Like: 65°
Scottsboro
Clear
68° wxIcon
Hi: 91° Lo: 69°
Feels Like: 68°
WAAY Radar
WAAY WAAY-TV Cam
WAAY Temperatures

Alabama Coronavirus Cases

Confirmed Cases: 49892

Reported Deaths: 1077
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Jefferson6219167
Mobile4625138
Montgomery4397111
Tuscaloosa258652
Madison19839
Marshall190411
Shelby155724
Lee153537
Morgan12415
Baldwin117011
Walker105631
Elmore100721
Dallas9789
Franklin92816
Etowah91914
DeKalb8647
Russell6650
Chambers66427
Autauga66214
Butler64529
Tallapoosa62569
Unassigned61627
Limestone5963
Houston5616
Lauderdale5556
Cullman5546
St. Clair4842
Colbert4816
Lowndes48022
Escambia4688
Pike4675
Calhoun4565
Coffee4164
Covington40312
Jackson4022
Barbour3772
Bullock37610
Dale3721
Talladega3677
Hale34323
Marengo34211
Clarke3036
Wilcox2998
Chilton2952
Winston2925
Sumter28713
Blount2811
Marion26714
Pickens2626
Monroe2553
Randolph2489
Conecuh2278
Perry2242
Bibb2151
Macon2129
Choctaw20912
Greene1929
Henry1463
Washington1367
Crenshaw1263
Lawrence1210
Cherokee1157
Geneva950
Lamar871
Clay822
Fayette811
Coosa631
Cleburne421
Out of AL00

Tennessee Coronavirus Cases

Confirmed Cases: 59546

Reported Deaths: 723
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Shelby13113219
Davidson12935142
Rutherford342839
Hamilton319637
Sumner187456
Williamson167016
Knox15069
Trousdale15065
Out of TN139710
Wilson113017
Putnam10027
Unassigned9362
Bradley9254
Robertson90113
Sevier8843
Montgomery7127
Lake6960
Tipton6926
Bledsoe6271
Bedford5989
Macon5686
Hamblen4474
Maury4313
Hardeman4004
Fayette3573
Madison3472
Loudon3201
Blount3063
Rhea3030
Dyer2803
McMinn27018
Cheatham2643
Dickson2510
Washington2350
Lawrence2276
Cumberland2004
Anderson1892
Sullivan1892
Lauderdale1754
Gibson1661
Jefferson1641
Monroe1526
Smith1482
Greene1382
Coffee1370
Cocke1300
Hardin1257
Warren1200
Obion1182
Haywood1132
Franklin1103
Wayne1100
Marshall1082
Hickman1010
McNairy1001
Marion914
Giles891
Carter871
Lincoln840
Hawkins832
DeKalb820
White813
Roane800
Overton701
Weakley691
Claiborne680
Campbell671
Grundy652
Henderson650
Chester590
Unicoi560
Grainger550
Polk550
Carroll521
Henry500
Crockett493
Cannon460
Jackson460
Johnson450
Sequatchie450
Humphreys392
Meigs370
Perry370
Morgan301
Decatur280
Fentress270
Stewart270
Scott260
Union220
Houston200
Clay180
Moore170
Benton151
Hancock110
Lewis100
Van Buren90
Pickett70

 

 

Community Events