The United States has sanctioned an arm of China’s military, the Equipment Development Department (EDD), for buying Russian military equipment, the Trump administration announced Thursday. The sanctions represented the first financial penalties that have been implemented under section 231 of the Countering America’s Adversaries Through Sanctions Act (CAATSA), which Congress passed overwhelmingly last year in response to Russia’s interference in the 2016 election. The sanctions also targeted Li Shangfu, the director of the EDD. The firm bought Sukhoi Su-35 fighter jets from Russia, in addition to S-400 missile defense systems. The State Department also announced that it added 33 individuals to its list of Russians and Russian entities in the defense and intelligence sectors that are being put on notice. Officials said the list includes Russians who have already been indicted for interfering in the 2016 election. The Trump administration has been criticized for its slow implementation of sanctions under CAATSA. Some countries—including India, Indonesia and Vietnam—have received waivers to continue buying Russian military equipment, despite the sanctions.
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