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US ready to strengthen sanctions to stop Chinese aid to Russia

US ready to strengthen sanctions to stop Chinese aid to Russia Photo: The United States will strengthen sanctions against the Kremlin (Getty Images)

Deputy National Security Advisor for international economics at the White House, Daleep Singh, stated that the United States and its partners are prepared to use sanctions and export controls to halt China-Russia trade that threatens their security amid the war against Ukraine.

Singh stated that countries might also take additional measures to increase Russia's cost of using a shadow fleet to evade the G7 oil price cap.

They might also expand current sanctions wording to include financial facilitation in light of Moscow's attempts to transition its economy into a war footing, he said, although he declined to say whether the US and its allies intend to impose secondary sanctions.

Singh noted that Russia is entirely dependent on China, giving Beijing "enormous leverage" over Moscow's military capabilities. He also highlighted that China faces risks and costs, given that its combined trade in goods with the European Union and the US is seven times greater than its trade in goods with Russia.

"To be clear, we have no desire to disrupt all trade between Russia and China, but we and our partners are prepared to use our sanctions and our export controls to prevent the trade of goods and technologies that threaten our collective security," he said.

Singh said that Sino-Russian trade had declined after US President Joe Biden expanded the Treasury Department's capabilities to target banks, adding that sanctions could expand further.

Speaking at an event organized by the Brookings Institution think tank, Singh said Western countries need to step up efforts to prevent Moscow from circumventing sanctions and urged American companies to ensure their products do not unintentionally aid Russia's military efforts.

Russian assets

He stated that the G7 leaders' summit next month would be the best opportunity to fill Ukraine's funding gap, planning to monetize about $300 billion in frozen Russian assets. This step, he said, would be risky but necessary.

"Of course, there are risks involved in mobilizing these assetsб the policy is all about tradeoffs," Singh said. " I think sanctions are doing their job relative to the objectives that we set."

There is still no consensus among the G7 countries on monetizing frozen Russian assets, which could quickly provide Kyiv with at least $50 billion in additional funding. However, Singh said Washington insists on a deal given Ukraine's dire situation on the battlefield.

Moscow's trade with China reached a record $240 billion in 2023, more than double the figure in 2020. This was driven by sales of Russian oil and gas, as well as purchases of electronics, industrial equipment, and cars.

Chinese President Xi Jinping told Vladimir Putin in Beijing that the ties between the two countries remain strong and should continue for generations.