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Sanctions on Russia working, but more to do: Commerce Secretary Gina Raimondo

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(WASHINGTON) — Two years into the war on Ukraine, the economic sanctions against Russia leveled by the Biden administration are working, according to Commerce Secretary Gina Raimondo, but she said there is more to do.

“We’re working with 30-plus other countries all around the globe, to work together to do everything we can to deny President Putin what he needs in terms of equipment and technology to fuel his war machine,” Raimondo told ABC News on Friday.

“Is it working? Yes. Have we done enough? No. We got to get up every single day and ask ourselves what more can we do,” she said. “We know what’s working because continually, we see there’s been real impact. It’s harder for [Russia] to get access to spare parts, semiconductors, drones, technology, etc. They’re still doing it. But, we have definitely slowed down their effort in a meaningful way.”

On Friday, the Biden administration, including the Commerce Department’s Bureau of Industry and Security, leveled more sanctions against Russia.

The sanctions limit U.S. equipment from getting in the hands of the Russians — and the administration has to get creative when it comes to which companies they sanction.

“We have to deny them everything,” Raimondo said. “It’s not just the parts and the drones and the satellites, but it’s equipment that they might want to get their hands on to make their own parts or supplies. So … that’s what makes this so hard. Putin and Russia are expert criminals. They’ve been doing this for decades, so they figured out ways around our controls.”

She said at one point Russians were “confiscating” breast pumps for their semiconductors to put them into military equipment.

“They’ll stop at nothing,” she said, adding the Commerce Department is “relentlessly vigilant” on the issue.

Two years into the war she said she has been “blown away” by the “immeasurable courage” of Ukrainian officials.

She said she has had Zoom meetings with her Ukrainian counterpart in which they have been from a “bunk, on the frontlines of combat.”

“We take our energy from their courage and we’re in it to win it with them until the end,” she said.

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