On Thursday, February 24, the United States Commerce Department’s Bureau of Industry and Security (BIS) put in place a number restrictions on exports to Russia, which include the export of telecommunications equipment, “that will severely restrict Russia’s access to technologies and other items that it needs to sustain its aggressive military capabilities,” the Commerce Department said when announcing the actions.
“These controls primarily target Russia’s defense, aerospace, and maritime sectors and will cut off Russia’s access to vital technological inputs, atrophy key sectors of its industrial base, and undercut its strategic ambitions to exert influence on the world’s stage,” the department continued. It added that the U.S. is receiving cooperation from the European Union, Japan, Australia, United Kingdom, Canada, and New Zealand in these efforts.
The restrictions are effective for equipment made in the United States as well as foreign items produced using U.S. equipment, software, and blueprints.
“With these export controls, we, together with our allies and partners, are technologically isolating Russia and degrading its military capabilities,” said Assistant Secretary of Commerce for Industry and Security Thea D. Rozman Kendler. “Russia’s access to cutting-edge U.S. and partner-country technology will halt. Its defense industrial base and military and intelligence services will not be able to acquire most Western-made products. Even most products made overseas using sensitive U.S. technology will be restricted for export to Russia.”
Secretary of Commerce Gina M. Raimondo added, “Russia’s actions are an immediate danger to those living in Ukraine, but also pose a real threat to democracy throughout the world. By acting decisively and in close coordination with our allies and partners, we are sending a clear message today that the United States of America will not tolerate Russia’s aggression against a democratically elected government. The Commerce Department, along with our partners internationally and across the Biden-Harris Administration, will continue to use every tool at our disposal to restrict products, software, and technology that supports Russia’s military capabilities.”
The Commerce Department added that many items covered by this new restriction were not previously subject to such export-to-Russia controls. Restricted items “include semiconductors, computers, telecommunications, information security equipment, lasers, and sensors,” the department said.