US Commerce Secretary says “there’s no expiration date” on sanctions against Russia

Ginaa Raimondo, US commerce secretary, during a meeting with business leaders and governors at the Eisenhower Executive Office Building in Washington, DC, on Wednesday, March 9. (Ting Shen / Bloomberg / Getty Images)

US Commerce Secretary Gina Raimondo said Wednesday that the export controls that have been leveled against Russia by the United States and its allies in response to Vladimir Putin’s invasion of Ukraine have “no expiration date.”

“We’re in it for the long haul and our allies are in it for the long haul,” Raimondo told CNN, adding that the Biden administration is prepared to stick with the measures designed to inflict economic pain on Russia for “as long as it takes. ”

“There’s no expiration date,” Raimondo said. “We’re in it to win it and our allies are too.”

The comments, coming from a member of President Joe Biden’s Cabinet, are yet another indication that the administration is bracing for a potentially prolonged and protracted conflict in Europe that has already roiled financial markets and that the White House has assessed would hurt American consumers’ wallets .

“This is going to be messy and probably extremely long term,” Raimondo predicted about the crisis.

Raimondo also warned that any country that does not abide by US restrictions on exporting to Russia would pay a heavy price – including China. She said her administration was prepared, for example, to cut China off from American or European equipment and software that are necessary to make semiconductors.

“We’re going to prosecute any company, wherever they are, in China or elsewhere, who violates the rules,” she said. “So our expectation is that China will not violate the rules, and if they do, there will be consequences.”

White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki said Wednesday that the administration had observed China “largely [abiding] by the sanctions that have been put in place. ”

“I would note, though, that if any country tries to evade or work around our economic measures, they will experience the consequences of those actions,” Psaki said.

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