US publishes vast list of banned ‘luxury’ exports to Russia

Their combined annual value amounts to $550 million, the White House has said

The US has made public a long list of so-called “luxury” items now banned from being exported to Russia as part of the sanctions imposed over its military offensive in Ukraine. It includes everything from cosmetics to camping equipment, and even vodka.

The Bureau of Industry and Security in the US Department of Commerce announced the restrictions “on the export, re-export, and transfer” of such goods to “all end users” in the Russian Federation and Belarus on March 11.

The measure came as a response to Russia’s attack on Ukraine in late February, which Moscow considers necessary to “demilitarize” the country, but which the bureau refers to as a “flagrant violation of international law.”

Published on Sunday, the list includes about 570 items, and states that the ban on the goods will come into force on March 16.

A section on beverages lists malt beer, a dozen wines, cider, large containers of whiskeys and bourbons, tequila, and even vodka. Some tobacco and tobacco substitutes, including chewing and snuff tobacco, are also banned.

Perfumes, and lip, eye and facial make-up preparations are also included, along with other beauty and skincare products. Racquet strings, sports gloves, ski suits, tents, and handbags also made the list, along with fur skins, silks, carpets, grand pianos, diamonds, antiques, and parts for yachts.

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Luxury brands halt sales in Russia

According to the White House, the US export value of the products covered by these restrictions amounts to nearly $550 million per year.

The publication of the banned “luxury” items list follows the announcement in recent days of other restrictive measures imposed by Washington on Moscow. On March 11, President Joe Biden levied an embargo on imports of Russian alcohol and seafood.

Three days before that, the American leader banned “all imports of Russian oil and gas and energy.

The Western sanctions imposed on Russia following its military attack on Ukraine target various spheres of its economy. Moscow views the restrictions as the waging of “an economic war,” and has vowed to respond appropriately.

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