Under Secretary Fernandez Signs Administrative Arrangement with European Commission’s Directorate General for Communications Networks, Content, and Technology (DG-CNECT) on Artificial Intelligence

28 Jan

Office of the Spokesperson

Yesterday, Under Secretary of State for Economic Growth, Energy, and the Environment Jose W. Fernandez signed an administrative arrangement between the United States and European Commission to further research on artificial intelligence.

This arrangement presents an opportunity for joint scientific and technological research with our Transatlantic partners, for the benefit of the global scientific community. Furthermore, it offers a compelling vision for how to use AI in a way that serves our peoples and upholds our democratic values such as transparency, fairness, and privacy. The research areas will be integral to a stronger global future, and include: Extreme Weather and Climate Forecasting, Emergency Response Management, Health and Medicine Improvements, Electric Grid Optimization, and Agriculture Optimization. The United States and the EU are united in our goal to advance the benefits of AI and related critical technology. To stay updated, follow Under Secretary Fernandez on Twitter @State_E, Facebook @StateDeptE, and LinkedIn @State-E. For press inquiries, please contact: E_Communications@state.gov.

Strengthening Shared Understanding Among the Partners in the Blue Pacific and Pacific Islands: Illegal, Unreported and Unregulated Fishing (IUUF) and Maritime Domain Awareness (MDA)

28 Jan

Office of the Spokesperson

The text of this statement was released by Australia, Canada, Germany, Japan, Republic of Korea, New Zealand, the United Kingdom, and the United States.

Begin Text:

A workshop on “Strengthening Shared Understanding Among the Partners in the Blue Pacific (PBP) and Pacific Islands: Illegal, Unreported and Unregulated Fishing (IUUF) and Maritime Domain Awareness (MDA)” was held January 24-26, 2023 at the Daniel K. Inouye Asia-Pacific Center for Security Studies in Honolulu, Hawaii.

This workshop brought together officials and experts from the Pacific Islands Forum Secretariat; the Pacific Islands Forum Fisheries Agency; the Pacific Fusion Centre; along with Pacific Island representatives; PBP partners Australia, Canada, Germany, Japan, Republic of Korea, New Zealand, the United Kingdom, and the United States; and PBP observers including the European Union, France, and India.

The participants discussed the challenges around IUUF and MDA in the Pacific through a series of plenary sessions led by regional subject matter experts. The workshop culminated in discussions about regional priorities and opportunities for deepening cooperation on MDA. The workshop strengthened shared understanding of the IUUF and MDA challenges facing the Pacific, and identified areas for further cooperation.

For further information on PBP, please see:

https://www.whitehouse.gov/briefing-room/statements-releases/2022/06/24/statement-by-australia-japan-new-zealand-the-united-kingdom-and-the-united-states-on-the-establishment-of-the-partners-in-the-blue-pacific-pbp/ 

https://www.state.gov/joint-statement-on-partners-in-the-blue-pacific-foreign-ministers-meeting/

Under Secretary of State for Political Affairs Nuland’s travel to Nepal, India, Sri Lanka, and Qatar

27 Jan

Office of the Spokesperson

Under Secretary of State for Political Affairs Victoria Nuland will travel to Nepal, India, Sri Lanka, and Qatar from January 28 to February 3, 2023.

In Nepal, Under Secretary Nuland will engage with the new government on the broad agenda of the U.S. partnership with Nepal.

While in India, the Under Secretary will lead the U.S.-India annual “Foreign Office Consultations” which cover the full range of bilateral, regional, and global issues. She will also meet with young tech leaders.

In Sri Lanka, Under Secretary Nuland will mark the 75th anniversary of U.S.-Sri Lanka relations and offer continued U.S. support for Sri Lanka’s efforts to stabilize the economy, protect human rights, and promote reconciliation.

And finally, in Qatar, the Under Secretary will discuss global issues under the framework of the U.S.-Qatar Strategic Dialogue. She will also engage counterparts on Qatar’s critical support for the relocation of Afghans with ties to the United States and our bilateral arrangement on the protection of U.S. interests in Afghanistan.

For media inquiries please contact SCA-Press@state.gov.

Conclusion of Round 15 of Negotiations to Modernize the Columbia River Treaty Regime

27 Jan

Office of the Spokesperson

The United States and Canada conducted the 15th round of Columbia River Treaty regime negotiations on January 25 and 26, 2023, in Vancouver, British Columbia. The two countries focused on flood risk management, hydropower coordination, ecosystem cooperation, and increased Canadian operational flexibility. The United States and Canada are working together to address outstanding issues to achieve an agreement in principle on a modernized regime that will protect and advance the livelihoods of the people of the Columbia River Basin and the region’s vital ecosystems.

The Columbia River is a shared resource that underpins many lives and industries on both sides of the border and benefits from timely coordination. With aspects of the Treaty changing in 2024, the United States is committed to working with Canada to ensure predictability and stability for both countries.

The U.S. Department of State leads a negotiating team consisting of representatives from the Bonneville Power Administration, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Northwestern Division, the U.S. Department of the Interior, and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. The U.S. delegation also included expert-advisors from the Kootenai Tribe of Idaho and the Spokane Tribe of Indians.

The next negotiation session will be March 22-23 in Washington, DC.

Joint Statement on U.S.–Italy Science and Technology Cooperation

27 Jan

Office of the Spokesperson

The following joint statement was released by the Governments of the United States and Italy at the 14th meeting of the U.S.-Italy Joint Commission Meeting on Science and Technology Cooperation.

Begin Text:

On January 26 and 27, the Government of Italy hosted the 14th United States – Italy Joint Commission Meeting (JCM) on Science and Technology Cooperation. Ms. Monica Medina, Assistant Secretary of State for Oceans and International Environmental and Scientific Affairs at the U.S. State Department, and Mr. Shawn Crowley, Charge d’Affaires at U.S. Embassy Rome, joined Ms. Maria Tripodi, Undersecretary for Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation of Italy, Mr. Alessandro Gonzales, Deputy Chief of Mission of the Embassy of Italy in the United States, and Mr. Giuseppe Pastorelli, Director for Integrated Promotion and Innovation, to convene the meeting.

The JCM, launched 25 years ago, provides a regular opportunity to exchange views on some of the most important science and technology endeavors in our countries and to prioritize future collaboration. This JCM convened representatives from government agencies and research institutions in Italy and the United States to discuss environmental and climate sciences; particle and nuclear physics and astrophysics; health research; and emerging technologies. The two delegations agreed that science and technology cooperation is inspired by democratic values, equity, fair competition, freedom of inquiry, openness, research integrity, and transparency. Both sides endorsed continued research cooperation, including opportunities to enhance collaboration in physics and astrophysics; Earth science, applications, and observations; health and life sciences; climate change and mitigation; advanced materials; quantum information science; digital transition and artificial intelligence; and energy transition.

End Text.

U.S. and Canada Co-Host Proliferation Security Initiative Workshop

27 Jan

Office of the Spokesperson

The United States and Canada co-hosted the Western Hemisphere Proliferation Security Initiative (PSI) Workshop from January 24-26, 2023, at U.S. Southern Command’s headquarters in Miami, Florida.

Over the course of three days, civilian and military leaders from Argentina, Canada, Chile, Barbados, El Salvador, Jamaica, Morocco, Peru, and the United States examined modern weapons of mass destruction (WMD) proliferation pathways, improved understanding of WMD interdiction obligations, explored legal frameworks and the best practices of partners, and enhanced the connections of the Countering WMD community in the Western Hemisphere. The workshop also featured briefs, panel discussions, and a scenario-based tabletop discussion focused on intra-governmental information sharing and decision-making about potential WMD-related proliferation activities in the region.

The PSI was established in 2003 to stop or impede transfers of WMD, their delivery systems, and related materials flowing to and from states and non-state actors of proliferation concern. Thus far, more than 100 states have endorsed the PSI Statement of Interdiction Principles. The United States and Canada encourage all countries in the Western Hemisphere to endorse PSI as a visible commitment to further develop relationships with like-minded states to foster the increased collaboration needed to address today’s proliferation challenges.

Americas Partnership for Economic Prosperity Virtual Ministerial Event

26 Jan

Office of the Spokesperson

Secretary of State Antony J. Blinken and United States Trade Representative Katherine Tai will host a virtual ministerial event for the Americas Partnership for Economic Prosperity (“Americas Partnership”), a regional framework for cooperation to promote inclusive economic growth and strengthen regional competitiveness announced by President Biden at the Summit of the Americas. The event will be held on Friday, January 27, 2023, from 1:00 p.m. to 2:15 p.m. ET.  The Secretary will deliver opening remarks at 1:00 p.m. ET, immediately followed by Ambassador Tai. They will also deliver closing remarks.

Secretary Blinken and Ambassador Tai will advance the Americas Partnership to build new models of cooperation that bolster regional economic resilience and integration, address our common challenges, and deliver shared prosperity for our peoples.

The event will be livestreamed on www.state.gov and www.YouTube.com/statedept  For more information, please contact Christine Johnson at e_communications@state.gov. Follow along on social media using the hashtag: #AmericasPartnership.

Naming Anna Gomez to Lead U.S. Preparations for the International Telecommunication Union World Radiocommunication Conference 2023

26 Jan

Office of the Spokesperson

Anna Gomez has joined the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Cyberspace and Digital Policy to lead U.S. preparations for the International Telecommunication Union World Radiocommunication Conference 2023 (WRC-23).  She also serves as a Senior Advisor for International Information and Communications Policy.

The conference will take place November 20-December 15, 2023, in Dubai, UAE.  World Radiocommunication Conferences are held every four years to update the international Radio Regulations – a treaty governing the global use of the radio frequency spectrum and satellite orbital resources.  WRC-23 will be tackling a range of issues aimed at facilitating new and emerging terrestrial and space-based technologies that can connect people everywhere, including spectrum for next generation mobile broadband systems, satellites, maritime and aeronautical services, and scientific applications.  WRC-23 is a significant opportunity to advance the United States’ interests related to telecommunications, innovation, economic growth, and national security.

Ms. Gomez has a distinguished career in the telecommunications sector – serving in both government and industry.  Prior to joining the Department of State, Ms. Gomez served for over a decade in various positions in the Federal Communications Commission, including Deputy Chief of the International Bureau, where she developed and implemented policy on international telecommunications and satellite spectrum.  She also served as the National Telecommunications and Information Administration Deputy Administrator from 2009-2013 and was most recently a partner in Wiley Rein LLP’s telecommunications, media, and technology group.

Assistant Secretary for Near Eastern Affairs Barbara Leaf On the Secretary’s Upcoming Travel to Egypt, Israel, and the West Bank

26 Jan

Office of the Spokesperson

Via Teleconference

MR PATEL:  Thanks so much, and thanks, everybody, for joining us this morning.  Apologies for the slightly tardy start.  So today joining us we have Assistant Secretary Barbara Leaf to preview Secretary Blinken’s travel this upcoming weekend to Egypt, Israel, and the West Bank.  This call will be on the record but embargoed until the call’s conclusion.  We, of course, will have some time for Q&A towards the end.  But with that, I would like to turn it over to Assistant Secretary Leaf.

ASSISTANT SECRETARY LEAF:  Thanks, Vedant.  And good morning to everybody.  So happy to be here to give you some context and detail to the Secretary’s planned trip to the region starting this weekend.  So as you all have seen from the announcement, he will be traveling to Egypt, Israel, and the West Bank January 29th to the 31st, consulting with our partners on a range of bilateral, regional, and global priorities and including advancing efforts that will – that promote human rights, democratic norms and values at the heart of our foreign policy, expanding our economic partnerships, and promoting regional security, stability, and prosperity, including through mechanisms like the Negev Forum.

He —his trip comes on the heels not only of the National Security Advisor’s visit, but as you’ll have seen in the last couple weeks, on the heels of the Negev Forum working groups in Abu Dhabi, which was an event that was pretty remarkable in its own right as the largest gathering of Arab and Israeli officials since the Madrid process.  You had Bahraini, Egyptian, Emirati, Israeli, Moroccan, and U.S. officials who worked to advance projects in these meetings to promote regional integration across a spectrum of areas, including regional security, water and energy security, tourism, food security, health, education, and coexistence.  And these are projects that we hope would eventually wrap around the Palestinian people and their economy and benefit them directly as well.

On January 29th to 30th, the Secretary will go to Cairo, where he will meet with President el-Sisi, Foreign Minister Shoukry, as well as senior Egyptian officials.  In those meetings, we expect that he will underscore our commitment to continuing to advance the strategic partnership we have with Egypt and to working with Egypt to promote peace and security in the region, whether it’s in support of elections in Libya or the ongoing Sudanese-led political process, or in working to ensure a calm in the Gaza Strip.

In Cairo, the Secretary will also meet with Egyptian youth leaders and with Egyptian human rights defenders to underscore our commitment to human rights and our continued support for civil society and, of course, the enduring importance of people-to-people ties between our countries.

The Secretary will then travel to Jerusalem and Ramallah from January 30th to 31st.  In Jerusalem, he’s going to have an opportunity to meet up with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and, of course, the prime minister is just a month into his tenure as prime minister.  He’ll also meet with the foreign minister and other senior Israeli leaders.  In those meetings, the Secretary will highlight the special 75-year – special nature of the 75-year bilateral relationship with Israel and our unstinting commitment to Israel’s security and democracy.  He will also underscore the United States commitment to countering the continued spectrum of threats posed by Iran to Israel, the U.S., and the wider region, and ensuring Iran can never acquire a nuclear weapon.

Obviously, normalization – advancing it and deepening it – will be on the agenda in support of a more integrated and secure Middle East that will be to the benefit of all peoples.  He will, of course, reiterate President Biden’s unstinting commitment to a two-state negotiated solution and equal measures of prosperity, freedom, and security for both Palestinians and Israelis.

In Ramallah, the Secretary is going to meet with President Abbas to, again, underline the administration’s, the President’s commitment to a two-state solution as well as talk through efforts to bolster the Palestinian economy and further strengthen American and Palestinian ties.

In both sets of engagements, he’s also going to meet with members of the Israeli and Palestinian civil societies, where he will underscore the administration’s belief that respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms and a strong civil society are fundamental, are critically important to responsible, responsive, and democratic governance.

I think that’s where I’ll stop, and I’d be happy to take your questions now.

MR PATEL:  Great.  Thanks so much, Assistant Secretary.  Amy, could you please remind our speakers on instructions on how to ask a question?

OPERATOR:  Yes, thank you.  If you wish to ask a question, please press 1 then 0 at this time.

MR PATEL:  Great.  We will first go to the line of Will Mauldin with The Wall Street Journal.

OPERATOR:  Your line is open.  Please, go ahead.

QUESTION:  Thank you so much for doing this, Assistant Secretary and Vedant.  I just wanted to ask, you mentioned a spectrum of threats coming from Iran – would you say that the U.S. and Israel have more and more common ground on how to address that?  And what would be in the arsenals or toolkit?  How far along are the two countries in figuring out what to do to address that?  And are there any concrete steps or expediting weapons to our partner, Israel, or other things that could be done to achieve that?  Thanks.

ASSISTANT SECRETARY LEAF:  Thanks for that.  So I would describe the place we are with the Israeli Government as kind of a seamless transition from one government to another in terms of really a fundamental alignment of our perspective on the nature – multi-headed nature of the threats that Iran poses.  It’s obviously most significantly in the untrammeled, unrestrained nuclear program and the lack of insight that we have – and that the IAEA has – into the dimensions of that program.  But it’s also obviously in the plethora of activities that Iran undertakes in the region that press in upon Israel’s security, and indeed the security of many of our partners through proxies, through transfer of advanced weaponry and so forth.

So I think there’s a real convergence of views on the nature of the threat and increasingly a convergence of our – or at least an alignment of our efforts across – whether it’s sanctions or other activities – to apply political and economic pressure and deter Iran from some of its really egregious activities.

I can’t really get into, obviously, issues of weapon systems and so forth, but I would just say it’s a place where we have a real alignment of views.

MR PATEL:  Next, let’s go to the line of Elizabeth Hagedorn with Al-Monitor.

QUESTION:  Hi.  Thank you for doing this.  I’d like to ask about the raid in Jenin.  What is the U.S. assessment of what happened here, and how concerned is the U.S. about the potential for renewed violence in Israel and the Palestinian territories?

ASSISTANT SECRETARY LEAF:  So we’ve been – a number of us have been working the phones since early this morning to get an understanding of what’s developing, what’s happened, and to urge de-escalation and coordination between Israeli and the Palestinian security forces.

We are concerned, obviously, at a couple things.  One, we understand there were civilian casualties, which is quite regrettable.  And then, obviously, there is the potential for things to worsen in security terms, in terms of protests or any other kind of kinetic action.

But we’re – we are in touch, in close touch, with our diplomatic and security folks on the ground.  I spoke with Ambassador Nides several times this morning and other folks in our organization out there, talked to General Mike Fenzel, who heads up our security mission, and I’ve been in touch with Israeli and Palestinian officials as well.  And as I said, we are urging de-escalation and a calming of the situation.

MR PATEL:  Thanks so much.  Next question.  Let’s go to Barak Ravid with Axios.

QUESTION:  Thank you so much for doing this.  Thank you, Vedant.  Thank you, Barbara.  First question, if I can follow up on the previous one:  Barbara, what exactly is the U.S. reaction to the Palestinian Authority announcement of suspending all security coordination with Israel?  It’s a statement they just put out a few minutes ago.  And second, is Secretary Blinken going to raise with Prime Minister Netanyahu the Israeli Government’s plan to weaken the supreme court?

ASSISTANT SECRETARY LEAF:  So Barak, thank you, as always, for really easy questions.  (Laughter.)  So on the first, look, I mean, the – sorry, your second one is – eclipsed the first one.  The first one was on the situation – oh, the reaction to President Abbas’s statement, yeah.

Look, I mean, we’ve seen that; we’re in very close touch with senior PA officials.  Obviously, we don’t think this is the right step to take at this moment.  Far from stepping back on security coordination, we believe it’s quite important that the parties retain – and if anything, deepen – security coordination.  And obviously, we’ll be continuing to talk to PA and Israeli officials all the way up through our arrival on the ground in a couple of days.

On the issue of the judicial reform, look, I mean, the Secretary is going to have an opportunity to hear from a wide swath of Israelis, both the Israelis inside and outside of government.  And it’s clear that this issue of the judicial legislation packages is one that’s sparked intense, intense discussion, debate within Israeli society.  It’s clearly a measure of the vibrancy of the democracy that this is being contested so clearly up and down across segments of Israeli society.  So he’s going to be interested to hear people’s views on this, and I don’t know where things will be a couple days hence.  But he will clearly be interested in hearing from people both in and outside of government on this issue.

MR PATEL:  Thank you so much.  Next, let’s go to the line of Matt Lee with the Associated Press.

QUESTION:  Hi, thanks.  Actually, Barak asked my question which was the – your reaction to the Palestinians cutting off the security cooperation or at least saying that they’re going to, but also once again saying that they’re going to go the UN and to the ICC about the raid in Jenin.  And as you know, the last time they did that, the Israeli cabinet suspended a whole bunch of – the transfer of a whole bunch of tax revenue, which is something that is completely at odds with the administration’s position as it relates to ties with the Palestinians and the PA.  So can you address that part of it?  Thanks.

ASSISTANT SECRETARY LEAF:  Yeah, sure, Matt.  Look, obviously we want to – far from seeing the sides separate further politically, in security terms, et cetera, et cetera, we want to say – them move back in the other direction.  We don’t think it makes sense to be going to international fora at this point.  This is a – this is exactly the point at which they need to engage with each other, and that’s – that will be the nature of our discussions with both sets of officials.

MR PATEL:  And we have time for one final question.  We’ll go to the line of Barbara Usher with BBC.

QUESTION:  Thank you.  Just one clarification on the Jenin question.  Do you expect it to alter any of the emphasis of the Secretary’s trip?  And I know that the State Department says that it is – discourages or is critical of actions that can be perceived as escalating tensions from either side.  Would this be one of those actions that you would criticize as escalating tensions?  Thank you.

ASSISTANT SECRETARY LEAF:  No, I mean, look – what I’m told is there was a – this was an operation to – by the Israeli military forces to intercept and sort of disrupt, I guess if you will, a ticking time bomb of a threat – of a terrorist threat.  I’m not in a position to – what I would say is, as I said earlier, the concern we have right now is that this is obviously tremendously – the aftermath of this, the civilian casualties and so forth – this has tremendously roiled the waters there.  We want to get the parties to – not to cease security cooperation – far from it – but to really enhance the security coordination.  And we’ll be helping – we’ll be ready to help with that as needed.

MR PATEL:  Thank you so much and thanks everybody for joining us today for this preview call.  As I said at the beginning, this call is on the record but embargoed until the call’s conclusion, which will be concluding shortly.  And I want to thank again Assistant Secretary Leaf for her time, and we will talk to everyone very soon.

ASSISTANT SECRETARY LEAF:  Thanks everybody.

Actions to Counter Wagner and Degrade Russia’s War Efforts in Ukraine

26 Jan

Office of the Spokesperson

The United States will continue to impede the Kremlin’s ability to arm and equip its war machine engaged in an unjustified war against Ukraine.  The Department of State is designating five entities and one individual linked to the Wagner Group and its head, Yevgeniy Prigozhin.  Additionally, the Department is designating nine individuals and 14 entities for their status as government officials, their involvement in the extended networks of designated persons, and/or for being part of Russia’s military industrial complex.  Finally, the Department is identifying two yachts and one aircraft as blocked property.  All targets are being designated pursuant to Executive Order (E.O.) 14024, which authorizes sanctions with respect to specified harmful foreign activities of the Government of the Russian Federation.

INFRASTRUCTURE AND OPERATIONS OF THE WAGNER GROUP

  • CHARTER GREEN LIGHT MOSCOW is being designated pursuant to Section 1(a)(i) for operating or having operated in the aerospace sector of the Russian Federation economy. Charter Green Light is an aircraft charter service that offers VIP, group, cargo, and helicopter charters based in Moscow, Russia.  It has been reported that it is the preferred company of the Wagner Group, which uses its charter planes to transport Wagner personnel and equipment.
  • ALEKSEI ALEKSEEVICH MALYAREVICH is being designated pursuant to Section 1(a)(vii) for being owned or controlled by, or for having acted or purported to act for or on behalf of, directly or indirectly, a person (Charter Green Light) whose property and interests in property are blocked pursuant to this order. Malyarevich is the founder and CEO of Charter Green Light.
  • AFRICA POLITOLOGY is being designated pursuant to Section 1(a)(vii) for being owned or controlled by, or for having acted or purported to act for or on behalf of, directly or indirectly, a person (Yevgeniy Prigozhin) whose property and interests in property are blocked pursuant to this order. Africa Politology develops strategies and mechanisms to induce Western countries to withdraw their presence in Africa and is involved in a series of Russian influence tasks in the Central African Republic, to include undermining Western influence, discrediting the UN, and carrying out lawsuits against Western press outlets.
  • PRIME SECURITY AND DEVELOPMENT is being designated pursuant to Section 1(a)(vii) for being owned or controlled by, or for having acted or purported to act for or on behalf of, directly or indirectly, a person (Wagner Group) whose property and interests in property are blocked pursuant to this order. Prime Security and Development has acted as a Wagner Group front company and its Director General has represented Wagner in discussions with African governments.
  • SEWA SECURITY SERVICES is being designated pursuant to Section 1(a)(vii) for being owned or controlled by, or for having acted or purported to act for or on behalf of, directly or indirectly, persons (Yevgeniy Prigozhin and the Wagner Group) whose property and interests in property are blocked pursuant to this order. The Wagner Group’s official presence in the Central African Republic (CAR) is via Sewa.
  • OFFICERS UNION FOR INTERNATIONAL SECURITY (OUIS) is being designated pursuant to Section 1(a)(vii) for being owned or controlled by, or for having acted or purported to act for or on behalf of, directly or indirectly, a person (the Wagner Group) whose property and interests in property are blocked pursuant to this order. OUIS has acted as a Wagner Group front company and has been used to obfuscate the identity of Wagner personnel.

RUSSIAN GOVERNMENT OFFICIALS

The following three officials of the Russian Federal Penitentiary Service have been identified as having facilitated the recruitment of Russian prisoners into the Wagner Group.  These individuals are being designated pursuant to Section 1(a)(iii)(A) for being persons who are or have been leaders, officials, senior executive officers, or members of the board of directors of the Government of the Russian Federation:

  • DMITRIY NIKOLAEVICH BEZRUKIKH
  • ARKADIY ALEKSANDROVICH GOSTEV 
  • IVAN PAVLOVITCH PROKOPENKO 

Russian Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Industry and Trade, DENIS VALENTINOVICH MANTUROV, is being designated pursuant to Section 1(a)(iii)(A) for being a leader, official, senior executive officer, or member of the board of directors of the Government of the Russian Federation.  Manturov oversees Russia’s defense industry and the production of war materiel for Russia’s use in Ukraine.

The Chairman of the Election Commission of the Rostov Region, ANDREY VLADIMIROVICH BUROV, is being designated pursuant to Section 1(a)(iii)(A) for being a leader, official, senior executive officer, or member of the board of directors of the Government of the Russian Federation.  Burov is responsible for facilitating illegitimate referendums in the occupied regions of Ukraine.

VLADIMIR POTANIN’S NETWORK

Vladimir Olegovich Potanin, one of Russia’s wealthiest oligarchs, was designated alongside members of his network on December 15, 2022. Today, we are designating four additional entities in Potanin’s network:

  • MK INTERROS INVEST is being designated pursuant to Section 1(a)(vii) for being owned or controlled by, or for having acted or purported to act for or on behalf of, directly or indirectly, Potanin, a person whose property and interests in property are blocked pursuant to Section 1(a)(iii)(C). MK Interros Invest is a holding company used by Potanin to control his minority stake in Norilsk Nickel.
  • WHITELEAVE HOLDINGS LIMITED (WHITELEAVE) is being designated pursuant to Section 1(a)(vii) for being owned or controlled by, or for having acted or purported to act for or on behalf of, directly or indirectly, MK Interros Invest, an entity whose property and interests in property are blocked pursuant to Section 1(a)(vii). Whiteleave is a holding company and an affiliate of Potanin’s Interros Group that holds shares in Norilsk Nickel.
  • SALTCLIFF TRADING LIMITED (SALTCLIFF) is being designated pursuant to Section 1(a)(vii) for being owned or controlled by, or for having acted or purported to act for or on behalf of, directly or indirectly, Whiteleave, an entity whose property and interests in property are blocked pursuant to Section 1(a)(vii).Saltcliff is a holding company owned or controlled by Potanin that manages his investments.
  • INTERNATIONAL LIMITED LIABILITY COMPANY INTERROS CAPITAL (INTERROS CAPITAL) is being designated pursuant to Section 1(a)(vii) for being owned or controlled by, or for having acted or purported to act for or on behalf of, directly or indirectly, Whiteleave, an entity whose property and interests in property are blocked pursuant to Section 1(a)(vii).Interros Capital is a firm owned or controlled by Potanin, which purchased a majority stake in Rosbank.

Additionally, the Department of State is designating SERGEY LEONIDOVICH BATEKHIN, the CEO of Interros, pursuant to Section 1(a)(iii)(C) for being or having been a leader, official, senior executive officer, or member of the board of directors of Kholdingovaya Kompaniya Interros OOO (Interros), an entity whose property and interests in property are blocked pursuant to Section 1(a)(i). Interros was founded by Vladimir Potanin.

BUSINESSMAN ADONEV AND HIS NETWORK

Sergei Nikolaevich Adonev is a businessman in Russia who acts as a financier to Russian President Vladimir Putin and Rostec State Corporation head Sergei Chemezov.

  • LIMITED LIABILITY COMPANY KALEIDOSKOP is being designated pursuant to Section 1(a)(i) for being an entity that operates or has operated in the financial services sector of the Russian Federation economy.
  • SERGEI NIKOLAEVICH ADONEV is being designated pursuant to Section 1(a)(iii)(C) for being a person who is a leader, official, senior executive officer, or member of the board of directors of Kaleidoskop, an entity whose property and interests in property are blocked pursuant to Section 1(a)(i).
  • FILIPP SERGEEVICH ADONYEV is being designated pursuant to Section 1(a)(v) for being the spouse or adult child of Adonev, a person whose property and interests in property are blocked pursuant to Section 1(a)(iii)(C).
  • LUKA SERGEEVICH ADONYEV is being designated pursuant to Section 1(a)(v) for being the spouse or adult child of Adonev, a person whose property and interests in property are blocked pursuant Section 1(a)(iii)(C).
  • The yacht ADDICTION is being identified as blocked property in which Sergei Nikolaevich Adonev has an interest.
  • The yacht ANATTA is being identified as blocked property in which Sergei Nikolaevich Adonev has an interest.
  • The aircraft S5-SAD is being identified as blocked property in which Sergei Nikolaevich Adonev has an interest.

ENTITIES SUPPORTING RUSSIA’S MILITARY INDUSTRIAL COMPLEX

AKTSIONERNOYE OBSHCHESTVO DALNEVOSTOCHNYY TSENTR SUDOSTROYENIYA I SUDOREMONTA (AO DTSSS) (A.K.A. Joint Stock Company Far Eastern Shipbuilding and Ship Repair Center) is a shipbuilding and repair company that supports Russia’s military forces.  AO DTSSS is being designated pursuant to Section 1(a)(vii) for being owned or controlled by, or for having acted or purported to act for or on behalf of, directly or indirectly, the Government of the Russian Federation. Along with its subsidiaries, AO DTSSS is one of the main entities responsible for building and servicing Russia’s Pacific Fleet. AO DTSSS and its subsidiaries are additionally playing roles in Russia’s attempts to expand its military and economic influence in the Arctic, Far East, and Pacific.

The following subsidiaries of AO DTSSS are being designated pursuant to Section 1(a)(vii) for being owned or controlled by, or for having acted or purported to act for or on behalf of, directly or indirectly, AO DTSSS:

  • AKTSIONERNOYE OBSHCHESTVO TSENTR SUDOREMONTA DALZAVOD
  • AKTSIONERNOYE OBSHCHESTVO SEVERO-VOSTOCHNYY REMONTNYY TSENTR
  • AKTSIONERNOYE OBSHCHESTVO DALNEVOSTOCHNYY ZAVOD ZVEZDA 
  • AKTSIONERNOYE OBSHCHESTVO 179 SUDOREMONTNYY ZAVOD 
  • AKTSIONERNOYE OBSHCHESTVO 30 SUDOREMONTNYY ZAVOD 
  • OBSHCHESTVO S ORGANICHENNOY OTVETSTVENNOSTYU DALNEVOSTOCHNYY PROEKTNYY INSTITUT VOSTOKPROEKTVERF
  • AKTSIONERNOYE OBSHCHESTVO VLADIVOSTOKSKOYE PREDPRIYATIE ELEKTRORADIOAVTOMATIKA
  • AKTSIONERNOYE OBSHCHESTVO TSENTRALNOYE KONSTRUKTORSKOYE BYURO LAZURIT

VISA RESTRICTIONS 

The Department of State is further taking steps to impose visa restrictions on 531 members of the Russian Federation military for actions that threaten or violate the sovereignty, territorial integrity, or political independence of Ukraine pursuant to Section 212(a)(3)(C) of the Immigration and Nationality Act.

SANCTIONS IMPLICATIONS

As a result of today’s action, all property and interests in property of the individuals above that are in the United States or in the possession or control of U.S. persons are blocked and must be reported to OFAC.  In addition, any entities that are owned, directly or indirectly, 50 percent or more by one or more blocked persons are also blocked.  All transactions by U.S. persons or within (or transiting) the United States that involve any property or interests in property of designated or blocked persons are prohibited unless authorized by a general or specific license issued by OFAC, or exempt. These prohibitions include the making of any contribution or provision of funds, goods, or services by, to, or for the benefit of any blocked person and the receipt of any contribution or provision of funds, goods, or services from any such person.

For more information on E.O. 14024, see the full text .