U.S. Treasury’s No. 2 Adeyemo visits Ukraine for talks on tighter Russia sanctions


By Andrea Shalal

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – U.S. Deputy Treasury Secretary Wally Adeyemo will visit Kyiv on Wednesday for talks with Ukrainian Finance Minister Serhiy Marchenko and other government officials about upcoming plans to tighten sanctions on Russia, a Treasury official said.

Adeyemo will meet with Marchenko, aides to President Volodymyr Zelenskiy, lawmakers, academics and civil society groups to preview a major speech on U.S. plans to further degrade Russia’s military industrial complex that he will give in Berlin on Thursday, the official said.

Senior White House official Daleep Singh on Tuesday said the United States and its partners could broaden current sanctions language regarding financial facilitation, which could point to plans to slap secondary sanctions on those aiding trade with Russia.

He said Russia-China trade had dropped since U.S. President Joe Biden had expanded Treasury’s ability to target financial institutions in December, adding authorities may expand that further.

Since Russia’s invasion of Ukraine in February 2022, Washington has sanctioned over 4,000 individuals and entities as part of its push to hold Russia accountable, including 80% of Russia’s banking sector by assets.

“We continue to take action to disrupt Russia’s war machine and cut off channels for evasion, including sanctioning nearly 300 individuals and entities just this month,” said the Treasury official, who spoke on condition of anonymity.

Washington and its allies were also concerned about the significant support in dual-use goods that China had shipped to Russia’s defense industrial base, and would continue to raise them directly with China, the official added.

Adeyemo will discuss efforts by the Group of Seven leaders to unlock the value of some $300 billion in Russian assets frozen by the West after the start of the war, which would give Ukraine access to more financing in the medium- to long-term, the Treasury official said.

The Treasury official said G7 finance ministers on Saturday made substantial progress in talks on how to bring forward future income from those Russian assets to boost funding for war-torn Ukraine, but gave no details.

The U.S. has been pushing its G7 partners – Japan, Germany, France, Britain, Italy and Canada – to back a loan that could provide Kyiv with as much as $50 billion in the near term. Instead of seizing the assets outright, such a loan would be backed by pulling forward future interest income on the assets over a set period of time, officials said.

Adeyemo will also discuss Ukraine’s anti-corruption efforts and highlight U.S. efforts to help Ukraine continue to attract private investment, including through more public-sector financing, the Treasury official said.

(Reporting by Andrea Shalal; Editing by Lincoln Feast.)

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