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US bans Russian metals

Washington and London have limited trading of Russian aluminum, copper and nickel on their exchanges

Washington has banned the import of Russian-origin aluminum, copper and nickel into the United States, and coordinated with the UK to crack down on the trade of those metals on global exchanges.

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

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

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The US aims to “reduce Russia’s earnings while protecting our partners and allies from unwanted spillover effects,” Yellen added. But according to Moscow’s ambassador to the US, Anatoly Antonov, this “unjustified and politicized step” 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.

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

Russia will be taking further steps to work around Western sanctions and diversify its foreign trade, the Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said on Tuesday while on a visit to China. The top diplomat discussed the “economic gaps” emerging resulting from the “illegal policy of unilateral sanctions” and plans on how to tackle them within the framework of BRICS and the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) with his Chinese counterpart Wang Yi.


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