Exclusive: US Could Hit Russian Phone And Import Aircraft Parts If It Invades Ukraine

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A customer tests a smartphone during the launch of the new iPhone XS and XS Max at Apple’s “re: Store” retailer in Moscow, Russia, September 28, 2018. REUTERS / Tatyana Makeyeva /

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WASHINGTON, Dec.21 (Reuters) – U.S. officials are considering tough export control measures to disrupt the Russian economy if Russian President Vladimir Putin invades Ukraine, a Biden administration official told Reuters.

The measures, which will be discussed at a senior officials meeting on Tuesday, would be in addition to economic sanctions that the Biden administration is considering if Russia invades, after massing tens of thousands of troops along the Ukrainian border.

US President Joe Biden has threatened to take devastating action against Russia, in an attempt to warn Putin against any possible military incursion. Putin has denied that Russia is considering an invasion.

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The measures to be discussed at the White House meeting include “extraordinary” export control measures that could stifle large swathes of industrial and consumer technology to Russia, said the official, who requested anonymity. .

The measures under discussion could prevent Russia from importing smartphones, key aircraft and automobile components, as well as materials from many other sectors. They could have a major impact on Russian consumers, industrial operations and jobs, the official said.

The official said the potential measures would be unprecedented for Russia. They would use tools used by the administration of former President Donald Trump, and taken over by the Biden administration, to prevent Chinese telecommunications company Huawei from accessing advanced semiconductors.

The basis for such action is the fact that the semiconductors that go into Huawei phones include parts that were designed in the United States, the official said. It can hit fleas all over the world based on key US contributions entering it, the official said.

U.S. officials plan to consult closely with key partners in Europe and Asia who may be involved in these measures and encourage coordinated efforts where appropriate, the official said.

The Russian mobile phone market is dominated by foreign companies like Apple (AAPL.O), Samsung (005930.KS) and Huawei, which were subjected this year to a new Russian law requiring them to install Russian software.

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Reporting by Steve Holland; Editing by David Gregorio

Our Standards: Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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