US alerts European countries to Russian sanctions evasion

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – A senior U.S. sanctions official is alerting European countries to Russian efforts to acquire certain sanctioned goods, as Washington seeks to root out sanctions evasion by Moscow.

Under Secretary of the Treasury for Terrorism and Financial Intelligence Brian Nelson is visiting Switzerland, Italy, Austria and Germany this week, where he is meeting with government officials, financial institutions and other businesses.

The Treasury Department is warning during the visits that Washington believes Russia is using evasive methods to acquire over a dozen types of goods, including electronic components, optics and manufacturing equipment, according to a document that has been handed to partner countries and was seen by Reuters.

Those goods include processors and controllers, video camera recorders, lasers and signal generators, among others.

Nelson’s visit comes as Washington tries to crack down on Russia’s sanctions evasion and ahead of travel by Assistant Secretary for Terrorist Financing and Financial Crimes Elizabeth Rosenberg to Kazakhstan and Kyrgyzstan next week.

Washington has previously said it is concerned about sanctions evasion in Kazakhstan.

In this week’s visits, the Treasury is also explaining what red flags financial institutions should watch for as they try to identify Russian procurement networks, according to the document.

Those include tenders from companies with no track record and little or no Web presence, frequent or last-minute changes to end users or payees, and businesses located in transshipment countries involved in the electronics or machinery sectors.

The United States and its allies, including the European Union and United Kingdom, imposed sanctions on Russia following the invasion of Ukraine more than a year ago and have continued to ratchet up pressure.


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