President Biden said today that a new package of sanctions being rolled out on the Russian government in response to its large-scale invasion of Ukraine will reduce Russia’s imports of high-tech goods by more than 50 percent.

In a speech from the White House, President Biden said the larger sanctions package being put into place by the U.S. and its partners and allies is intended to have a “maximum long-term impact on Russia.”

On the technology front, President Biden said the restrictions on Russia’s ability to import goods and services will prevent the country from being able to “compete in the 21st century,” and “will cut off more than half of Russia’s high-tech imports.”

The sanctions include “Russia-wide denial of exports of sensitive technology, primarily targeting the Russian defense, aviation, and maritime sectors to cut off Russia’s access to cutting-edge technology,” the White House said.

“In addition to sweeping restrictions on the Russian-defense sector, the United States government will impose Russia-wide restrictions on sensitive U.S. technologies produced in foreign countries using U.S.-origin software, technology, or equipment,” the White House said.

Those will include “Russia-wide restrictions on semiconductors, telecommunication, encryption security, lasers, sensors, navigation, avionics, and maritime technologies,” it said, adding, “these severe and sustained controls will cut off Russia’s access to cutting edge technology.”

The tech import restrictions, the White House said, are aimed to “choke off Russia’s import of technological goods critical a diversified economy” and the ability of Russian President Vladimir Putin “to project power.”

Other countries are taking similar steps on tech restrictions, President Biden said.

According to the White House, the European Union, Australia, Japan, Canada, New Zealand, and the United Kingdom “have already communicated their plans for parallel actions.” That coordination, the White House said, “significantly expands the scope of restrictions on Russia.”

Along with the technology import restrictions, the sanctions package announced by the White House today includes further moves to block major Russian financial institutions from the global financial system, including barring Russia’s largest bank from the U.S. financial system, and “full blocking sanctions” on the country’s second-largest bank which will freeze any of its assets that touch the U.S. financial system.

The sanctions package also includes restrictions on the ability of major Russian companies to access U.S. financial markets to conduct debt and equity financings, and financial blocking sanctions against additional Russian “elites” and their family members.

Read More About
More Topics
John Curran
John Curran
John Curran is MeriTalk's Managing Editor covering the intersection of government and technology.