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Energo: OFAC “smart sanctions” target turbine lubricants and additives in an effort to stop Russian military production

Two days before Christmas the US Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) quietly released new sanctions on what at first glance appear to be an esoteric product group: turbine lubricants and their additives. But banning the sale of these essential industrial products could have a devastating effect on Russia’s ability to make and maintain its arsenal of weapons, as well as hobbling its entire power industry.

The point is that Russia doesn’t make high-tech lubricants and is entirely dependent on imports. And using cheaper versions makes a big difference to a factory or power plant’s ability to make or do anything.

As the economic war between Russia and the US escalates, Washington is increasingly acting on its own and rolling out what could be called “smart sanctions” – the economic equivalent of the smart and highly accurate missiles that the US military is so famous for.

OFAC has authorised the sanctioning of any foreign financial institution that has conducted or facilitated the supply, sale or transfer to Russia of a range of chemicals considered critical to Russia’s military-industrial base.