WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The US Treasury Department on Monday cut the usual extension of two general licenses for Russian commercial vehicle manufacturer GAZ Group, a Finance Ministry official told Reuters as the United States sought to deter Russia from invading Ukraine.
The official said the permits, which had previously been extended for a year and would expire on Wednesday, would be extended by just 90 days.
“These powers have been extended for a shorter period of time given the current situation with Russia; further extension will be conditioned by Russia’s behavior,” the official said.
Russia has gathered tens of thousands of troops near Ukraine’s borders. He denies planning an invasion, but NATO has said it is putting forces on alert and strengthening Eastern Europe – moves that Moscow described as “hysteria”.
The United States has warned that Russia will face huge consequences if it attacks Ukraine.
Licenses allow certain activities that involve the van manufacturer and transactions required for the sale or transfer of debt, capital or other stakes in GAZ.
In 2018, the Treasury imposed sanctions against billionaire Oleg Deripaska and eight companies in which he is a major shareholder, including carmaker Gaz, citing Russia’s “malicious activities”.
In October, FBI agents raided homes in Washington and New York linked to Deripaska, a metal industry tycoon with ties to the Kremlin.
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