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Japan imposes export controls on Russia, targeting industrial and oil, gas sectors

Japan has imposed additional sanctions on Russia, prohibiting the export of 164 types of goods that could contribute to strengthening Russia’s industrial infrastructure. The updated sanctions list targets items for industry, oil & gas sectors
Japanese flag. Illustrative photo
Japan imposes export controls on Russia, targeting industrial and oil, gas sectors

Japan has imposed additional sanctions against Russia, prohibiting the export of 164 types of goods that could contribute to strengthening Russia’s industrial infrastructure.

According to a document released by the Japanese Ministry of Trade on 5 April 2024, the ban targets the supply of 164 types of goods that could aid Russia’s industrial and oil and gas sectors.

The updated sanctions list includes a range of items for industry and the oil and gas sector, such as “oil and gas pipelines, a wide assortment of motor oils, nitrocellulose, lithium-ion batteries, woodworking equipment, power tools, grinding machines, precious metals, plastics and plastic products, woodworking equipment, steel products, non-ferrous metal products, optical equipment and photographic equipment, inorganic chemicals, fire boats, yachts, canoes, kayaks, light boats, crane vessels, production and drilling platforms.”

According to the media project Trap Aggressor, Japan aims to restrict the import of non-industrial diamonds of Russian origin on 10 May. Before the full-scale invasion, the media reported that the sale of unprocessed diamonds from Russia reportedly generated up to $5 billion annually for the Russian budget.

In December 2023, Japan announced sanctions against 135 Russian and Russia-associated companies and individuals who helped Russia to circumvent sanctions restrictions. The package also contained a ban on imports of non-industrial diamonds from 1 January 2024.

Why sanctions against Russian oil and gas sectors are crucial

The EU is preparing the 14th package of sanctions against Russia, which will be adopted in the spring of 2024, Vice President of the European Commission Valdis Dombrovskis said.

These actions follow 13 previous packages designed to impact Russia’s economy, with the upcoming sanctions expected to include measures against maritime sector circumventions, especially in oil trade.

Sanctions on the oil and energy sector are crucial as they affect Russia’s economy and its war capabilities, making Russia struggle with supplying fuel and gas to the Russian army.

Ukraine has struck Russian oil and energy infrastructure with the same goal. Top Western diplomats are divided on this issue.

US Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin cautioned that Ukraine’s recent attacks on Russian oil refineries risk impacting the balance the US has sought to maintain between squeezing Russia’s energy exports and keeping global markets adequately supplied to manage inflation and support a soft landing for the world economy.

The US administration has expressed concern to high-ranking Ukrainian officials that the attacks on Russian oil facilities could lead to a surge in global oil prices, which have already climbed by about 15% to $85 per barrel this year.

President Zelenskyy said that the reaction of the US to Ukrainian drone strikes against Russian oil refineries in February and March “was not positive.” However, he said that Washington couldn’t limit Ukraine’s deployment of its home-built weapons. “We used our drones. Nobody can say to us ‘you can’t.'”

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