US limits fentanyl exports to Russia, says it could be used to support ‘military aggression’

The Commerce Department on Friday announced new sanctions limiting the export of fentanyl and other chemicals to Russia and Belarus because of their potential to support “military aggression.”

“In response to the Russian Federation’s ongoing aggression against Ukraine, the Department of Commerce is expanding the existing sanctions against Russia and Belarus by imposing new export controls,” the department’s Bureau of Industry and Security wrote.

The bureau said it was expanding sanctions to include “lower-level items potentially useful for Russia’s chemical and biological weapons production capabilities.”

The new sanctions also include items needed for “advanced production and development capabilities” and “advanced manufacturing” across a variety of industries.

“The items that this rule adds … may be useful for Russia’s CBW [chemical and biological weapons] production and development capabilities and therefore may be used in support of its military aggression,” the Commerce Department wrote.

The rule specified several chemicals including fentanyl and its derivatives alfentanil, sufentanil, remifentanil and carfentanil.

Other chemicals were banned from being exported to the countries if they were in high concentrations, some 95 percent concentration or above and some 90 percent or above.

The Commerce Department sanctioned exports of “chemical precursors to central nervous system acting chemicals” as well as some biologics, equipment and quantum computing and advanced manufacturing items.

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