17 July 2014, News Wires – The White House has ramped up its sanctions on Russia over the crisis in Ukraine with top energy producer Rosneft added to the list of entities barred from financial dealings with the US.
The US Treasury Department said in an announcement on Wednesday that the energy giant is now prohibited from receiving any new financing of debt from US sources with longer than 90 days’ maturity.
Independent producer Novatek also found itself on the list.
Gazprombank, Russia’s third largest lender formed by the gas company to provide financing for the gas industry, was also added to the list. Gazprom itself, however, was not.
The moves by the Obama administration mark the largest escalation of sanctions since Russia annexed Crimea in March this year. Gas producer Novatek was among those sanctioned in the first round.
Businessman Gennady Timchenko who has major energy interests is also on the US list. Rosneft chairman Igor Sechin was added to the list in April.
The EU is expected to limit or end Russia’s access to the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development and the European Investment Bank, among other measures, Bloomberg reported.
It was not clear what impact the sanctions would have on US supermajor ExxonMobil’s exploration partnership with Rosneft. A spokesman for the US company could not immediately comment.
The two companies are scheduled to start drilling an oil well as soon as next month in the Arctic off Russia.
The sanctions have so far not appeared to hinder Russian ambitions in Ukraine, and Russian troops were said to be amassing at the Ukraine border.
There are now 10,000 to 12,000 Russian combat troops, up from a low of about 1000 a few weeks ago, according to reports. The number of troops, while enough to “conduct operations on either side of the border”, according to officials, is still lower than the “tens of thousands” sent to the border earlier in the confrontation.