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U.S. hits Russian oil refining sector, slaps export curbs on Belarus -Breaking

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© Reuters. FILE PHOTO. A protestor holds U.S. flags and Ukrainian flags at a “Stand with Ukraine” rally against Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. This was taken in Washington, U.S.A, on February 28, 2022. REUTERS/Elizabeth Frantz/File Photo

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WASHINGTON, (Reuters) – The United States targeted Russia’s oil refinery sector Wednesday with export curbs. It also targeted Belarus with sweeping export restrictions. This comes as the Biden administration intensifies its attack on Moscow and Minsk in response to the invasion of Ukraine.

A new set of sanctions was announced by the White House. They prohibit certain technologies from being exported to Russia, and make it difficult for Russia’s oil refineries to be modernized.

Also, the White House imposed a broad range of export restrictions against Russia that were applied to Belarus last month. They argued the controls would prevent items from being diverted to Russia, such as technology in defense and aerospace and the maritime sector, through Belarus.

“The United States will take actions to hold Belarus accountable for enabling Putin’s invasion of Ukraine, weaken the Russian defense sector and its military power for years to come, target Russia’s most important sources of wealth, and ban Russian airlines from U.S. airspace,” the White House said.

Since Putin invaded Ukraine on February 24, 2018, the United States has been steadily increasing sanctions on Moscow. Belarus allows Russian troops to use its territory for staging purposes.

While Russia’s invasion hasn’t succeeded in its goal of overthrowing Ukraine, more than 870,000 Ukrainians fled to their country. The invasion also brought down the global economic system as companies and governments rushed to isolate Moscow.

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