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Business News/ Economy / US, allies to boost efforts to stop Russia skirting sanctions

US, allies to boost efforts to stop Russia skirting sanctions

  • Treasury Deputy Secretary Wally Adeyemo is expected to say that the Kremlin is making an all-out effort to evade Western sanctions.

FILE PHOTO: U.S. Treasury Department Deputy Secretary Wally Adeyemo. REUTERS/Brendan McDermid/File Photo

The U.S. and its allies are preparing to increase efforts to enforce sanctions against Russia, threatening to hit foreign companies helping Moscow evade economic restrictions.

In a speech Tuesday ahead of the first anniversary of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, Treasury Deputy Secretary Wally Adeyemo is expected to say that the Kremlin is making an all-out effort to evade Western sanctions.

According to the prepared text, Mr. Adeyemo will say the U.S. and its European Union and Group of Seven allies are prepared to use sanctions, export controls and other tools to give companies doing business with Russia a stark choice: “To do business with a coalition representing half of the global GDP, or to provide material support to Russia."

Mr. Adeyemo is set to say in his speech that Washington and its allies will also broaden export controls or sanction Russian companies that have been repurposed to help the military effort, for example, by providing goods such as chips from nonmilitary electronics for the armed services.

Washington will also intensify efforts to identify and sanction the intermediaries helping Russia work around the oil-price cap, he is set to say.

In his speech, Mr. Adeyemo is set to say that the U.S. and its European allies are looking at ways to better share information to help identify foreign companies and countries helping Russia import key goods.

He is due to say that U.S. and European officials are preparing to meet foreign banks and companies to warn them that they will be cut off from financial services and markets if they help Moscow circumvent sanctions.

“We are providing intelligence and actionable information to enable countries to stamp out sanctions evasion in their jurisdictions," he will say, according to the text. “And if they fail to do so, we and our partners are prepared to use the various economic tools at our disposal to act on our own."

Russian trade has jumped with some nearby countries, causing concern that Moscow is skirting export controls by having restricted goods imported into its neighbors and then receiving supplies across the border. There are also concerns about the pickup in Chinese trade with Russia and the provision by Beijing of key technologies, like semiconductors, to Moscow.

However, Mr. Adeyemo is set to say that China doesn’t produce the advanced semiconductors Russia needs.

“Nearly 40 percent of the less advanced microchips Russia is receiving from China are defective," he is expected to say.

In a separate call with reporters Monday, Mr. Adeyemo said the U.S. would go directly to Chinese companies and banks and make clear to them they will face sanctions for providing support to Russia. He said the U.S. will spotlight cases where they see Chinese firms helping Russia evade Western sanctions.

—Andrew Duehren contributed to this article.

Write to Laurence Norman at laurence.norman@wsj.com

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