March 26, 2023

U.S.-Africa ties latest: Central African republic, food and Ukraine

First Lady Jill Biden attends the Asian American Native Hawaiian and Pacific Islander (AANHPI) Heritage Month Reception Tuesday, May 17, 2022, in the Rose Garden of the White House. (Official White House Photo by Erin Scott)
First Lady Jill Biden attends the Asian American Native Hawaiian and Pacific Islander (AANHPI) Heritage Month Reception Tuesday, May 17, 2022, in the Rose Garden of the White House. (Official White House Photo by Erin Scott)

Ties between the United States and Africa continued to strengthen this week with a focus on the Central African Republic, food insecurity and Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

United States First Lady, Dr. Jill Biden, has also arrived in Namibia, the first leg of her two-nation visits that will also take her to Kenya.

White House officials said at a news briefing on Tuesday that her visit aims to strengthen ties between the United States and Africa. Her trip comes ahead of President Joseph R. Biden Jr. planned visit to the continent later this year.

Below are some of the latest statements across the U.S. government focusing on Africa and global events involving or affecting Africa.

G7 Foreign Ministers’ Statement at the Munich Security Conference

Media Note
Office of the Spokesperson
February 21, 2023

Statement by Hayashi Yoshimasa, Minister for Foreign Affairs of Japan in his capacity as Chair of the G7 Foreign Ministers’ Meeting at the Munich Security Conference.

Begin Text:

The G7 Foreign Ministers of Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, the United Kingdom, the United States, and the High Representative of the European Union met for the first time under the Japanese presidency in 2023 and underlined their commitment to upholding the international order based on the rule of law.

The G7 members expressed their deepest condolences to the people of Türkiye and Syria as they contend with the effects of the February 6 earthquake. The G7 members are working together with partners to ensure needed humanitarian, crisis response, and technical assistance are made available unfettered. They therefore underscored the importance of full implementation of the decision to expand humanitarian access to Northwest Syria.

Nearly a year to the day after Russia’s full-scale invasion of Ukraine, the G7 members reaffirmed their unwavering solidarity with Ukraine for as long as it takes. They welcomed Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba’s participation in the meeting and Ukraine’s commitment to a just and lasting peace as demonstrated through President Zelenskyy’s remarks at the G20 Summit in November 2022. They committed to actively working with Ukraine to this end. They condemned in the strongest possible terms the Russian government’s unprovoked and brutal war of aggression against Ukraine. They urged Russia to immediately and unconditionally withdraw all forces and equipment from Ukraine and respect Ukraine’s independence, sovereignty, and territorial integrity within its internationally recognized borders. Members of the United Nations must refrain from the threat or use of force against the territorial integrity or political independence of any state in accordance with the United Nations Charter. They committed to, above all, defending this core principle against Russia’s aggression, for the benefit of not only Ukraine, but the entire international community.

The G7 members condemned Russia’s continued attacks on Ukrainian civilians and critical infrastructure. They underscored that there must be no impunity for war crimes and other atrocities, including attacks on civilian populations and infrastructure as well as the filtration operations and forced deportations of Ukrainian civilians to Russia. They reemphasized their commitment to holding all those responsible to account, including President Putin and the Russian leadership, in accordance with international law.

The G7 members remained committed to maintaining and intensifying sanctions on Russia to constrain its war effort and on those states providing material support for Russia’s illegal war

against Ukraine. They expected third states not to evade and undermine these measures, and called on third parties to cease assistance to the Russian military and its affiliated forces, or face severe costs.

The G7 members are committed to alleviating the global suffering caused by Russia’s war and the Russian government’s weaponization of energy and food. They reaffirmed the critical importance of continuing and expanding the Black Sea Grain Initiative and stressed the need for Russian authorities to increase the pace of inspections and operations to meet global demand. They denounced Russia’s continuous use of information manipulation and disinformation campaigns unfolded globally that seek to shift blame to others.

The G7 members reaffirmed their resolve to continue supporting Ukraine in exercising its right to defend itself against Russia’s invasion, including by providing military and defense assistance. They highlighted concerted efforts by G7+ partners in providing energy assistance to mitigate the effects of Russia’s brutal attacks on civilians and critical infrastructure.

The G7 members reiterated, while recalling that no nuclear weapon has been used for 77 years, that Russia’s irresponsible nuclear rhetoric is unacceptable and that any use of chemical, biological, or nuclear weapons or related materials would be met with severe consequences. They condemned Russia’s continued seizure and militarization of the Zaporizhzhya Nuclear Power Plant and called for the immediate withdrawal of Russian forces and personnel. They underscored their full support for the International Atomic Energy Agency’s efforts to address nuclear safety, security and safeguards concern in Ukraine.

The G7 members condemned in the strongest terms the launch of yet another Intercontinental Ballistic Missile (ICBM) conducted on February 18, 2023 by North Korea. This act is in blatant violation of UN Security Council Resolutions (UNSCRs) and threatens regional and international peace and security. They strongly urged North Korea to fully comply with all obligations arising from the relevant UNSCRs. North Korea’s reckless behavior demands a unified response by the international community, including further significant measures taken by the UN Security Council. They called on all states to fully and effectively implement all UNSCRs.

The G7 members also reaffirmed their shared commitment to maintaining a free and open Indo-Pacific, which is inclusive and based on the rule of law, shared principles, territorial integrity, transparency, the protection of human rights and fundamental freedoms, and the peaceful resolution of disputes. They strongly opposed any unilateral attempts to change the status quo by force or coercion. They remained steadfast in cooperating with partners to ensure peace, security and prosperity of the world.

Remarks at a UN Security Council Briefing on the Central African Republic

Ambassador Robert Wood
Alternate Representative for Special Political Affairs
New York, New York
February 21, 2023


Thank you, President. Thank you, SRSG Rugwabiza, for your leadership and informative briefing, which illustrates the critical role that MINUSCA plays in supporting peace and security in the Central African Republic. I welcome the presence of the Foreign Minister of the Central African Republic and the Chairperson of the Central African Republic Country-Specific Configuration of the Peacebuilding Commission.

Today I would like to address three core themes: MINUSCA’s positive contributions to peace and security in CAR, the importance of respecting the Mission’s Status of Forces Agreement, and the need for a political solution to end the country’s conflict.

First, I convey my appreciation to the staff and peacekeepers of MINUSCA, the mission’s leadership, and the troop- and police-contributing countries for their commitment to peace in the Central African Republic.

As the Secretary-General’s report describes, MINUSCA’s proactive and robust posture protects civilians, limits the movements of armed groups, and supports the return of social services, humanitarian actors, and development partners. We commend the mission’s work and join with the CAR government in encouraging MINUSCA to further deter armed group attacks against civilians by proactively addressing sources of instability. This is particularly timely given the uptick in armed group attacks since the onset of the dry season.

The United States is proud to be a firm supporter of MINUSCA and a partner to many of the mission’s TCCs and PCCs. Through our Global Peace Operations Initiative, we provided training and support to the Peruvian engineering unit that rehabilitated a road linking Bossangoa and Bossembele. We have also provided support to Zambia as it prepares its infantry battalion for deployment, a unit recognized for its performance, particularly in helping protect civilians and expel armed groups from Ouanda-Djallé last summer.

To effectively fulfill its mandate and ensure the safety and security of UN personnel, it is critical MINUSCA be permitted full freedom of movement. We welcome the late 2022 agreement between the CAR government and MINUSCA re-authorizing unrestricted UN night flights; however, the new restrictions on unmanned aerial vehicles directly hinder MINUSCA’s ability to fulfill its mandate. Lifting one restriction and replacing it with another is not progress.

This leads me to my second point: The need for the Central African Armed Forces to demonstrate greater respect for the mission’s SOFA. We were disheartened to see an increase in SOFA violations over the reporting period, despite the mission’s efforts to cooperate with the FACA.

Obstructing mission patrols and detaining convoys impede MINUSCA’s ability to protect civilians from armed groups, identify and clear explosive ordinance, and support CAR’s stabilization.

We share the CAR government’s concern with reported increases in armed group activity, including cross-border violence. The heinous late-January attack on the Beloko customs facility represents a stark escalation by armed groups, and we encourage all regional actors to play a constructive role in helping to stabilize CAR. Sustainably addressing this challenge requires coordination among border patrol forces, positive engagement by regional actors, and a recommitment to the peace process.

Which leads me to my final point: There remains no military-only solution to CAR’s crisis. The only durable solution is through political dialogue, full implementation of the 2019 peace agreement and regionally-brokered 2021 road map, the reassertion of state authority, and justice for victims. The full, equal, and meaningful participation and leadership of women, the diverse and effective engagement of youth, and participation of members of ethnic and religious minorities in political dialogue are critical to making CAR’s peace process more effective, inclusive, and sustainable.

Unfortunately, some predatory entities in CAR seek to destabilize the country in order to further exploit its wealth for their own gain. The Wagner Group perpetrates numerous human rights abuses as part of its campaign to control CAR’s sovereign natural resources. We are disappointed the Secretariat continues to self-censor by using euphemisms to refer to Wagner when it is clear that Wagner forces are responsible for many of these abuses. Wagner came to CAR promising to reduce armed group violence, but on the contrary, its actions are fueling further insecurity and conflict. Without accountability for human rights abuses, CAR will not be able to achieve the peace that is necessary to unlock the country’s vast potential.

We once again call upon all actors to lay down their weapons and choose the path of dialogue. The Central African people deserve peace.

Thank you, President.


Readout of Ambassador Robert Wood’s Meeting with Central African Republic Foreign Minister Sylvie Baïpo-Temon

United States Mission to the United Nations
Office of Press and Public Diplomacy
For Immediate Release
February 21, 2023

The below is attributable to U.S. Mission to the United Nations Spokesperson Nate Evans:

Alternate U.S. Representative to the United Nations Ambassador Robert Wood, met today with Central African Republic Foreign Minister Sylvie Baïpo-Temon. The Ambassador and the Foreign Minister discussed the country’s security needs, the importance of MINUSCA, and the need to uphold the status of forces agreement.


Administrator Samantha Power’s Meeting with World Food Programme Executive Director David Beasley

United States Agency for International Development
February 21, 2023

The following is attributable to USAID Spokesperson Jessica Jennings:

Today, Administrator Samantha Power spoke with World Food Programme (WFP) Executive Director David Beasley. Mr. Beasley briefed on the humanitarian needs for the Türkiye/Syria earthquake response, the status of WFP’s humanitarian programs, and ways that USAID can best support partners on the ground to improve humanitarian outcomes. They also spoke about the ongoing humanitarian response in Ukraine one year on from Russia’s brutal full-scale invasion.

The Administrator and Mr. Beasley also discussed his reflections and lessons learned from his last six years as executive director, as well as WFP’s 2023 funding outlook and WFP’s transformation as a humanitarian organization in the last several years.

FACT SHEET: One Year of Supporting Ukraine

The White House
Statements and Releases
February 21, 2023

Nearly one year ago, Russia launched its unjust, brutal assault against Ukraine. Putin’s invasion was a test of Ukraine’s commitment to freedom, and a test for America and the world. Putin sought to subjugate Ukraine, but the free people of Ukraine stood strong—bravely defending their sovereignty and democracy. The United States, alongside our allies and partners, did not hesitate to stand with them.

Over the last year, the United States has provided critical support to the people of Ukraine, working in close coordination with the government of Ukraine to get them what they need. President Biden has spoken regularly with President Zelenskyy, hosting him at the White House and visiting Kyiv to send powerful messages of the United States’ unwavering support. We have led the world in providing security assistance—from the Javelins that halted the Russian tanks assaulting Kyiv, to the air defense systems that have intercepted Russian strikes against Ukraine’s critical infrastructure, to the armored vehicles that Ukraine needs for the next phase of this conflict. We also stepped up to provide financial and humanitarian assistance—helping Ukrainians maintain access to fundamental services, like healthcare and heat, as they fight for their liberty and sovereignty.

The United States has not acted alone. Since first exposing Russia’s plans to launch this invasion, we ensured that Ukraine’s resilience has been matched with global resolve. We rallied the international community to speak out and stand against Russia’s brutal war, including at the United Nations, where the world has repeatedly and overwhelmingly voted to condemn Russia’s aggression. We have led unprecedented efforts to isolate and impose costs on Russia—including the largest coordinated sanctions and export control actions taken against a major economy. In response to the global economic disruptions caused by the Kremlin, we have launched initiatives that have stabilized energy markets and food supplies. And we supported our partners as they opened their homes and communities to millions of Ukrainians seeking refuge.

One year ago, Putin thought he could quickly topple Ukraine. He thought he could divide our allies and partners. He was wrong. Ukraine still stands. The international coalition in support of Ukraine is stronger and more united than ever. And President Biden’s visit to Kyiv yesterday sent a clear and powerful message to the world: we remain committed to standing with the people of Ukraine for as long as it takes.

Actions we have taken to support Ukraine and hold Russia accountable over the last year include:

Security Assistance

Over the past year, the United States and our allies and partners provided critical security assistance that made a real difference on the battlefield, and helped the people of Ukraine defend their country from Russian attacks and advances.

At the start of the war, the anti-armor and anti-air systems we provided—like the 8,000 Javelin and 1,600 Stingers—enabled Ukraine to win the Battle for Kyiv. The artillery and ammunition we have sent—such as the 160 howitzers and 38 High Mobility Artillery Rocket systems—enhanced Ukraine’s ability to defend its territory in the Donbas region and launch successful counteroffensives in Kharkiv and Kherson, reclaiming hundreds of kilometers of territory and liberating towns and villages subjected to unimaginable Russian brutality. The air defense systems and counter-drone capabilities that we provided help Ukraine protect its people and infrastructure against continued Russian attacks. The armored capabilities we are sending—including 109 Bradley infantry fighting vehicles and tanks—will prepare Ukraine for future counteroffensives and help Ukraine adapt to changing conditions on the ground and defend against future Russian assaults.

We have provided more than one million rounds of artillery ammunition; more than 100,000 rounds of 125mm tank ammunition; and 100,000 rounds of small arms ammunition. We have provided helicopters; Unmanned Coastal Defense Vessels, and counter-UAV systems and equipment. And the Departments of Defense and State have released a plan to prevent and counter the potential of illicit diversion of weapons and equipment.

Working with European partners and Ukraine, the United States also launched the Ukraine Defense Contact Group—a coalition of 50 partner nations that has enhanced our coordination of security assistance deliveries to help the people of Ukraine as they continue to defend themselves against Russia’s unjust and unprovoked assault. Together, members of this group already committed $50 billion security assistance, including nearly 700 tanks and thousands of other armored vehicles, more than 1000 artillery systems, more than two million rounds of artillery ammunition, more than 50 advanced multiple rocket launch systems, and anti-ship and air defense systems.

A comprehensive list of security assistance is available here.

Humanitarian Assistance

When Russia launched its invasion, the United States responded quickly to the humanitarian crisis in Ukraine—providing more than $1.9 billion to Ukrainians in need of assistance, including more than 13 million people forced to flee their homes.

We brought together partners across the United Nations agencies and non-governmental organizations to address Ukrainian’s critical needs—including food, safe drinking water, shelter, and emergency health care. When winter approached and Putin turned his assault to critical infrastructure, a U.S.-led coalition provided supplies to restore emergency power and heat across the country. In addition to welcoming over 267,000 Ukrainians who have been forced to flee their homes to the United States and creating the Uniting for Ukraine program, we have provided $340 million in refugee assistance to our European partners who continue to host millions of Ukrainians, representing the largest population outflow in Europe since World War II.

A comprehensive list of humanitarian assistance is available here.

Democracy, Human Rights, and Anti-Corruption Assistance

To defend human rights in Ukraine and its neighbors, President Biden launched the European Democratic Resilience Initiative (EDRI) in March 2022. Through EDRI, we have provided nearly $220 million for Ukraine to support media freedom and enable Ukrainian media outlets to continue operating during the war, to counter disinformation, increase the safety and security of activists and vulnerable groups, strengthen democratic and anti-corruption institutions, and support accountability for human rights abuses and violations of international law.

Holding Russia Accountable

Justice and accountability are central pillars of the United States’ policy on Ukraine. Russia chose this war, and the United States and our partners are holding it accountable for its attacks and atrocities against the people of Ukraine — ensuring that perpetrators, human rights violators, and war criminals are brought to justice.

Based on a careful analysis of the law and available facts, the Secretary of State recently determined that members of Russia’s forces and other Russian officials have committed crimes against humanity in Ukraine.

Working with partners, we have supported Ukrainian domestic authorities, international efforts, and strategic litigation to ensure that Russia’s crimes do not go unpunished. Along with many of our allies and partners, we imposed new sanctions on those engaged in human rights abuses and exercising illegitimate authority in occupied areas of Ukraine, including proxy authorities, military units, and those involved in the forced deportation of children.

The United States has also imposed expansive visa restrictions on members of the Russian military and others committing human rights abuses related to Russia’s war. The United States continues to support a range of international accountability mechanisms—including the UN Independent International Commission of Inquiry on Ukraine, the UN Human Rights Monitoring Mission in Ukraine, the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe’s Moscow Mechanism, and the Joint Investigative Team on Ukraine.

Economic Measures Against Russia

The United States and over 30 allies and partners developed the largest set of sanctions and export control actions ever imposed on a major economy. These actions are disrupting Russia from accessing critical inputs and advanced technologies — undercutting its ability to fund and fight its unjust war.

The United States has implemented or expanded more than 2,000 sanctions listings and more than 375 export control Entity Listings, including major state-owned enterprises and third-country actors supporting Russia’s war machine. We imposed sanctions on Russia’s largest financial institutions and imposed increasingly expansive restrictions on military and industrial goods that could support Russia’s defense industrial base. As a result, Russia has been forced to turn to rogue regimes to try to source weapons and equipment because of their inability to make enough parts to resupply Putin’s war at home. Additionally, Congress has revoked Russia’s permanent normal trade relations status — removing Russia’s privileges in international trade and increasing tariffs on hundreds of Russia products imported into the United States.

These sanctions and export controls will cut even deeper into Russia’s economy as time progresses. And at the same time, our economic measures have been specifically designed to shield low- and middle-income countries from their impact — including protecting the exports of food, allowing the provision of humanitarian assistance, and carving out agriculture, medicine, and energy payments from our sanctions.

Energy Assistance and Security

When Russia attacked Ukraine’s energy infrastructure, trying to use winter as a weapon against the Ukrainian people, the United States and its allies and partners provided energy assistance: restoring power, heating homes, and enabling the people of Ukraine to focus on the defense of their sovereignty.

Together with our allies and partners, we provided critical electricity equipment to help Ukraine make emergency repairs to its power system and strengthen the stability of Ukraine’s grid in the face of Russia’s targeted attacks. We also worked with Ukraine to advance its energy transition and build a system decoupled from Russian energy. And we worked to stabilize global energy markets, limit Russia’s revenue, and blunt the impacts of Russia’s war on energy security. Through the U.S.-EU Task Force on Energy Security, we ensured Europe had enough gas for the winter. The United States also released 180 million barrels of oil from the Strategic Petroleum Reserve, ensured international energy payments continue to flow under our sanctions, and implemented a G7+ price cap on seaborne Russian oil and petroleum products.

We also took steps to reduce nuclear risks posed by Russia’s reckless actions at and around Ukraine’s nuclear power plants to support energy infrastructure, including through training for emergency responders, radiation sensor monitoring, and the provision of emergency diesel fuel and other nuclear safety supplies.

Economic Assistance

The United States has disbursed $13 billion in grant financing for budget support for Ukraine —and will soon begin disbursing another $9.9 billion that Congress recently approved — to ensure the Ukrainian government can continue to meet the critical needs of its citizens and provide basic services as it confronts Russia’s continued aggression. Through the World Bank’s Public Expenditures for Administrative Capacity Endurance mechanism, the United States has used it to provide budget support on a reimbursement basis — ensuring funding is disbursed to Ukraine only after expenses have been verified.

In its leadership role in international financial institutions, the United States has also worked closely with the International Monetary Fund, the World Bank Group, and the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development to support Ukraine — including to strengthen energy security, food security, and support for vulnerable populations and internally displaced persons across the country. Together with the G7, we have launched the Multi-agency Donor Coordination Platform for Ukraine, to enhance our coordination of economic support for Ukraine’s immediate financing needs and future economic recovery and reconstruction efforts.


Remarks by Deputy Secretary of the Treasury Wally Adeyemo on International Sanctions Against Russia

U.S. Department of the Treasury
Statements and Releases
February 21, 2023

As Prepared for Delivery

Thank you for joining me today. A little less than one year ago, Russia invaded Ukraine with the objective of unseating the democratically elected government. The Kremlin expected to take Kyiv within days and to be in control of Ukraine within weeks. But today, due to the bravery of the Ukrainian people and the support of the United States and our allies and partners, Kyiv still stands, Ukraine’s democratically elected government remains in place, and the people of Ukraine continue to valiantly resist Russia’s illegitimate war of aggression.

The Kremlin’s war of choice has caused extraordinary death and suffering in Ukraine and around the world. Since February of last year, at least 7,000 Ukrainian civilians have died, in addition to tens of thousands of military casualties on both sides. Moreover, Russia’s actions—including blocking grain and food exports from Ukraine—have exacerbated energy and food shortages worldwide, putting millions at risk of starvation in some of the world’s poorest countries. This war has already taken an unacceptable toll, and we will continue to do all we can to bring it to an end.


Starting last February, President Biden laid out a comprehensive strategy to support Ukraine, which includes making use of the full range of our economic tools. The first prong of our economic strategy is to deny the Kremlin’s ability to use the money they have to buy the weapons they need, and the second is to reduce the revenues that President Putin can use to fund his war of choice and prop up Russia’s economy.

At the same time, President Biden has underscored our commitment to ensure the costs of our actions fall most heavily on Russia, not the economies of the U.S. and our allies and partners.

One year on, our economic tools are constraining the Kremlin. Our sanctions and export controls—implemented in partnership with the Department of Commerce—have degraded Russia’s ability to replace more than 9,000 pieces of military equipment lost since the start of the war, forced production shutdowns at key defense facilities, and caused shortages of essential components for tanks and aircraft production. Russia is also running out of munitions and has lost as much as 50 percent of its tanks. At the same time, our coalition has provided Ukraine with state-of-the-art military equipment, while Russia has been forced to turn to mothballed Soviet-era weapons.

Going forward, our export controls and sanctions will continue to prevent Russia from accessing the equipment needed to make up for these losses, and our sanctions will make it harder for the Kremlin to use the remaining resources Russia can access to pay for the weapons they need.

While Russia’s economic data appears to be better than many expected early in the conflict, our actions are forcing the Kremlin to use its limited resources to prop up their economy at a time where they would rather be investing every dollar in their war machine.

Some of our first actions—immobilizing Russia’s central bank reserves, as well as sanctioning and de-SWIFTing some of its largest banks—sent the ruble into a 50 percent decline, creating a run on the Russian economy, as capital and foreign companies left the country as quickly as possible.

The Kremlin stemmed the bleeding by putting in place a set of draconian capital controls that prevented money from leaving the country, providing capital from the central bank to prop up their financial sector, and using the remaining assets from the Kremlin’s sovereign wealth fund to prop up their economy.

Despite the Kremlin’s best efforts, the Russian economy continues to deteriorate. Bloomberg Economics estimates that Russia’s economy is on track to lose $190 billion in GDP by 2026, relative to its prewar path.

A good example of this decline is last year, rather than the budget surplus they forecasted, Russia suffered a budget deficit of $47 billion dollars. This was the second highest deficit the country has experienced in the post-Soviet era. The best educated, most productive Russian citizens have left, which will dramatically reduce the economic capacity of the country.

Industrial production has declined in Russia for 9 straight months, and we are planning to take additional steps to further decimate the Kremlin’s industrial base.

As we all know, Russia’s main source of revenues comes from selling energy. Perversely, the Kremlin’s invasion of Ukraine raised global prices for oil, hurting oil-importing countries and increasing Russia’s oil earnings. Under the President and Secretary Yellen’s leadership, the price cap our coalition has implemented is already dramatically reducing Russia’s revenues from energy.

Last month, Russia’s monthly budget revenues from oil and gas fell to their lowest level since 2020—46 percent below where they were a year ago. The Russian Finance Ministry has been forced to nearly triple its daily foreign currency sales to make up for the shortfall.

Put simply, we are making the Kremlin’s choice—between funding its illegitimate war and propping up its economy—harder each day.

Spending the country’s savings can hide the damage for now, but our actions are forcing Russia to mortgage its economic future to save face today. Of course, we have more work to do, and we will continue to do more until Russia’s ceases its baseless and illegal invasion. But one year into this conflict, Russia’s economy looks more like Iran and Venezuela’s than a member of the G20.


From the outset, our response to Russia has been rooted in multilateralism. Our coalition of more than 30 nations, representing over 50 percent of global economy, came together within three weeks of the further invasion of Ukraine.

And we have been in lockstep with the G7 and EU and at every point along the way. This multilateral approach is what enabled us to successfully immobilize the majority of Russia’s sovereign wealth and central bank assets. It is what has made our export controls on defense inputs so potent.

The members of our coalition are the dominant producers of key inputs needed for modern warfare, such as the most advanced semiconductors, transistors, and software. Russia has been cut off from these critical imports, and its military performance has suffered as a result. Looking to China is not a solution to Russia’s challenges. While we are concerned about Russia’s deepening ties with them, Beijing cannot give the Kremlin what it does not have, because China does not produce the advanced semiconductors Russia needs. And nearly 40 percent of the less advanced microchips Russia is receiving from China are defective.

The economic size of our coalition has also been critical in enabling our actions to go after the oligarchs and elites that enable Putin’s regime, through multilateral fora like the REPO Task Force. As of today, the REPO Task Force has frozen or blocked at least 58 billion dollars in ill-gotten assets.

Going forward, the breadth of this coalition is what will enable us to continue to isolate Russia. We will force those that fail to implement our sanctions and export controls to choose between their economic ties with our coalition of countries — representing more than half of the world’s GDP —or providing material support to Russia, an economy that is becoming more isolated every day.

Under the President and Secretary Yellen’s leadership, we have paired multilateralism with new tools and approaches to degrade Russia’s economy and war machine.

Immobilizing Russia’s central bank reserves and imposing a price cap on its oil were decisions not everyone believed would succeed. But the evidence to date shows these approaches are working. Take the price cap, which operates by setting a ceiling on how much Russia can charge for its crude and refined oil products if they are traded using services from a country that is a member of our coalition.

This both limits Russia’s oil revenues directly and gives negotiating leverage to those who buy Russian oil without using these services, further driving down prices. And it forces Russia to choose between spending money on weapons and spending money to build its own ecosystem of services to get around the price cap.

Already, the impact of these actions is clear. According to Russia’s Ministry of Finance, the country’s oil revenues in January 2023 were nearly 60 percent lower than in March 2022, just after the invasion began. The price of Russian Urals crude has continued to fall and currently stands 40 percent lower than in February 2022.

In essence, Russia can no longer reap windfall profits caused by the conflict it started. At the same time, our actions have averted a sharp spike in global oil prices by keeping Russian oil on the market.


We will continue to provide Ukraine the assistance they need to defend their country, building on the tens of billions in economic aid and comprehensive security assistance we’ve already provided.

And we will take further actions to set back the Kremlin’s ability to build its war machine and earn revenues. In addition, we and our allies are planning to launch a renewed effort to rigorously enforce the sanctions and export controls we’ve already put in place.

We know the Kremlin is actively seeking ways to circumvent these sanctions — to find those that do not share our values and are willing to put the people of Ukraine at risk to turn a quick profit. In fact, one of the ways we know our sanctions are working is the Kremlin has tasked its intelligence services, such as the FSB and GRU, to find ways to get around them.

Our approach to countering evasion will focus on 3 elements. The first, consistent with our overall approach, will be to work closely with our allies and partners, especially in the G7 and EU.

We will use all of our economic tools to give countries, companies, and individuals a choice: to do business with a coalition representing half of the global economy, or to provide material support to Russia.

We will use sanctions, export controls, and other tools to prevent the Kremlin from using the money they have to purchase the weapons and goods they need to fight this war of choice.

To strengthen this effort, we will improve information sharing and coordination among our allies, as well as share additional information with firms in our countries to garner their assistance in preventing countries, companies, and individuals from providing material support to Russia.

The second element of this effort is to identify and shut down the specific channels through which Russia attempts to equip and fund its military.

For example, in response to our export controls that have disrupted Russia’s military-industrial supply chains and weapons procurement, Russia has sought to backfill lost inputs by repurposing goods—like chips that come from non-military electronics—and retooling manufacturing facilities to produce the goods it needs to support its war effort. Our counter-evasion efforts will deny Russia access to the dual-use goods being used for the war and cut off these repurposed manufacturing facilities from the inputs needed to fill Russia’s production gaps.

Similarly, we know Russia is working to get around the price cap through shadowy intermediaries. In addition to reducing the price Russia can charge for energy shipped with G7 and EU services, the price cap was designed to force Russia to pay a higher cost to ship oil outside the cap.

Russia has been forced to divert billions in funds from the invasion to pay for insurance, shipping, and other services to support its oil trade. For example, Russia’s central bank has been forced to use billions of dollars to back stop the Russian National Reinsurance Company in order to support the shipping of energy products.

This is significantly reducing the Kremlin’s profits, which it needs to fund its war. We will continue to identify and act against intermediaries that permit Russia to use G7 and EU services to be enriched by its oil trade. And we will look for additional ways to drive up the cost the Kremlin must pay to set up an alternative ecosystem to sell oil without the Price Cap Coalition’s services.

The final element of our approach will be to put pressure on the companies and jurisdictions we know are allowing or facilitating evasion. Russia’s invasion of Ukraine is unconscionable.

But even some of the countries who have publicly agreed with that sentiment are falling short of their obligations to enforce the sanctions we and our coalition have imposed in response. We have seen troubling patterns in several countries, including several of Russia’s neighbors, where the Kremlin has deepened its financial ties and trade flows as other markets have been closed off. We are providing intelligence and actionable information to enable countries to stamp out sanctions evasion in their jurisdictions. And if they fail to do so, we and our partners are prepared to use the various economic tools at our disposal to act on our own.

Officials from the U.S. and the governments of our coalition partners are also engaging with companies and banks in these jurisdictions to tell them directly that if they do not enforce our sanctions and export controls, we will cut them off from access to our markets and financial systems.

The cost of doing business with Russia in violation of our policies is a steep one, and companies and financial institutions should not wait for their governments to make the decision for them.


To conclude, let me take a step back and say that while we have far more to do, we are succeeding in reversing the course of Russia’s budget and undercutting its military-industrial complex. The battlefield situation Russia faces has fallen far short of Putin’s expectations, and Russia continues to face daunting obstacles in the form of dwindling supplies and flagging morale among its troops.

At the same time, we have been able to keep global energy markets well supplied and avoid damaging price spikes, even as we’ve limited Russia’s ability to profit from its energy exports.

Going forward, we are committed to continuing to support the people of Ukraine and to redoubling our efforts to hold Russia accountable—especially by countering efforts to evade our sanctions.

Thank you again for being here today. Let me turn it over to Juan for a few questions.

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