US Government Bans Russian Metals As East-West Trade War Deepens

As the United States and its Western partners continued to wage economic and trade war against Russia, it has banned the import of Russian-origin aluminum, copper, and nickel into the country.

It also vowed to coordinate the ban with the United Kingdom to crack down on the trade of these metals on global exchanges.

The decision will affect metals produced in Russia after April 13, 2024, with the world’s leading commodity exchanges – the London Metal Exchange (LME) and Chicago Mercantile Exchange (CME) – set to ban trade in these metals.

US Treasury Secretary, Janet Yellen, who announced the ban in a press release on Friday, said the new prohibitions will “continue to target the revenue Russia can earn” to fund its military operation in Ukraine.

According to Yellen, the US aims to “reduce Russia’s earnings while protecting our partners and allies from unwanted spillover effects”.

Meanwhile, Russia’s ambassador to the US, Anatoly Antonov, has described the ban as “unjustified and politicised step” which according to him will inevitably backfire.

Washington’s decision is “probably based on calculations that commodity prices will not skyrocket in the US itself,” Antonov said, noting that the US has already reduced its own imports of Russian metals to a minimum.

However, with this new “illegal” move, the US administration actually “provokes imbalances on the global markets by involving its satellite states in sanctions,” he added.

Russia will take further steps to work around Western sanctions and diversify its foreign trade, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said on Tuesday on a visit to China.

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He discussed the “economic gaps” resulting from the “illegal policy of unilateral sanctions,” as well as plans regarding how to tackle them within the framework of BRICS and the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation with his Chinese counterpart, Wang Yi.

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