By Kanishka Singh and Susan Heavey
WASHINGTON (Reuters) -The U.S. government on Thursday called on companies to ensure they comply with Russia-related sanctions imposed after Moscow’s invasion of Ukraine, warning that a failure to do so could lead to potential prosecution or enforcement actions.
Businesses should be aware of tactics being used to skirt restrictions and sanctions on Russia, including the use of shell companies, aliases, and obscured shipping information, among other warning signs, the U.S. departments of Justice, Commerce and Treasury said in a joint notice.
The guidance mentioned countries like China, Armenia, Turkey and Uzbekistan as those used as “transshipment points” to “illegally redirect restricted items to Russia or Belarus.”
“Businesses of all stripes should act responsibly by implementing rigorous compliance controls,” the joint notice added.
The United States, Europe and other partners have imposed a host of sanctions on a range of individuals and entities after Russian troops invaded Ukraine one year ago, seeking to inflict an economic toll on Moscow. Sanctions freeze any U.S. assets and prevent business being conducted with sanctioned parties.
The departments said “malign actors continue to try to evade Russia‐related sanctions and export controls,” including through use of third party intermediaries.
The U.S. Commerce Department also recently imposed export curbs on nearly 90 Russian and third-country companies, including some in China, for engaging in sanctions evasion in support of Russia’s defense sector and prohibiting them from buying items like semiconductors. The U.S. was also working to prevent components found in Iranian drones from making their way to the Ukrainian battlefield.
(Reporting by Kanishka Singh and Susan Heavey; Editing by Doina Chiacu, Tim Ahmann and Deepa Babington)