Coronavirus forces US to bust its own sanctions


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The United States had to break its own sanctions to import ventilators from a Russian company which it placed on sanctions in 2014 in response to the coronavirus pandemic.

According to the European Sanctions monitor, the US imported the ventilators from KRET, a subsidiary of Rostec, the state-owned Russian defence conglomerate which was placed on sanctions for manufacturing “electronic warfare and intelligence equipment”.

The report did not say how many ventilators the US had imported or their value.

An OFAC spokesperson, however, said that the Treasury has the “authority to licence US persons to engage in transactions that are consistent with US foreign policy and national security interests”.

The Office for Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) is an agency of the US Treasury Department that enforces US sanctions.

The US currently has the highest number of coronavirus cases in the world with over 352 000 cases reported and more than 10 300 deaths.

Zimbabwe which so far has only nine reported cases has been under US sanctions for 17 years and has asked Washington to lift the sanctions in response to the coronavirus but the US has refused to budge.

 

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The Insider

The Insider is a political and business bulletin about Zimbabwe, edited by Charles Rukuni. Founded in 1990, it was a printed 12-page subscription only newsletter until 2003 when Zimbabwe's hyper-inflation made it impossible to continue printing.

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