20 countries US wages sanctions war against


In its history, the US more than once imposed sanctions on other countries. Judging by the long list, the US government is satisfied with the effect of such restrictions and intends to use them in the future. However, effectiveness and necessity of sanctions are constantly under discussion and there is no consensus here, as some countries have quite successfully managed to get the limitations round. We now present the list of 20 countries, on which the US has imposed various sanctions.

Balkan countries

During the conflict in the Balkans, the UN Security Council adopted a number of resolutions imposing sanctions against Serbia and Montenegro. First of all, the possibility of buying weapons was blocked and accounts deposited in foreign financial institutions were frozen.

As for the US, it imposed a number of sanctions against individuals in 2001, as all permits, licenses, assets and accounts of these people in the territory of the USA were blocked.

At the same time, violation of the sanctions, in case an organization was involved, led to fines of more than $500,000 or at double the rate of the profits received in the result of the violation. For individuals, the fine amounted to more than $250,000, or at double the rate of the profits received in the result of the violation. In 2010, the US sanctions were extended for another year.


In 2004, the US adopted the “Belarus Democracy Act,” by which the lawmakers demanded to inform them about deliveries of arms and technologies from Belarus. It was also planned to allocate funds for “support of democratic processes” in the country.

Later on, the sanctions were constantly made tougher.

In 2011, travels of certain individuals were limited and assets were frozen. The list of those targeted by the sanctions includes President of Belarus Alexander Lukashenko, his sons, Viktor and Dmitry, as well as journalists, officials, prosecutors and judges.


In 1997, sanctions were introduced against Burma. In particular, US companies were prohibited from investing in this country, and members of the military junta were denied entry to the US.

In 2003, the sanctions were made tougher. Imports from Burma were completely prohibited, the government’s assets in the US were frozen, and US representatives were to vote against allocating credits of international financial institutions to the country.

Cote d’Ivoire

In 2011, the US imposed sanctions against President of Cote d’Ivoire Laurent Gbagbo, his wife and supporters, due to the fact that the American authorities were not satisfied with the abolition of elections in some cities of the country. As a result, Gbagbo was elected for the second term.

As usual, a ban on entering the United States was introduced, and assets and operations of the persons targeted by the sanctions were frozen.


For the first time the US sanctions against Cuba were introduced in 1960, after the nationalization of the property of American citizens and legal entities. Later, the sanctions were extended to an almost full-scale embargo.

First sanctions implied reduction of sugar import from Cuba; later, all countries providing aid to Cuba were denied American aid. In a few months, deliveries of any goods, except food and medicine, were banned.

In 1962, Cuba was excluded from the Organization of American States, and the US Navy established a quarantine zone around the country.

Since 1966, US citizens were prohibited from visiting Cuba; violation of this law involved up to 10 years in prison and heavy fines.

Later on, the sanctions were made tougher, and in 1996, a law was adopted, according to which sanctions were applied to foreign companies having trade relations with Cuba.

In 2000, it was decided to use the frozen accounts amounting to $120 million to pay “compensations to the victims of the Cuban terrorism.”

During the years of the economic blockade, Cuba suffered a loss of more than $100 billion.

Democratic Republic of the Congo

Sanctions against the Democratic Republic of the Congo were introduced in 2006, and later, they were extended several times.

In 2010, Special Envoy of the UN, Margot Wallström, stated that the government forces of the Democratic Republic of the Congo were probably guilty of rape and murder.

As in the case of other countries, entry to the US was banned, and assets and operations of the persons targeted by the sanctions were frozen.


In 1979, the United States froze all Iranian assets and gold reserves in its banks in response to the seizure of the American Embassy in Tehran. In addition, foreign companies that had violated the restrictions were also exposed to sanctions.

In 1984, a ban on credits from international financial institutions was introduced. In 1987, the trade turnover between the US and Iran ceased completely.

In 1995, the sanctions were loosened, and it became possible to supply American goods to Iran via third countries.

Nevertheless, in 1996, any country that invested more than $20 million in the energy sector of Iran fell under the sanctions, which included a ban on the interbank activity, loss of licenses for export of equipment to the USA, ban on receiving considerable credits from US banks, ban on attracting investments, and ban on purchasing Treasury bonds.

In 2012, another toughening directed against Iranian banks as well as companies and individuals connected with the Iranian nuclear industry took place.


The United States introduced trade sanctions against Iraq in 1990. Import of all goods, except food and drugs, and export of oil and oil products was banned.

Besides, the UN Security Council virtually deprived Iraq of control over part of its territory in the North and South of the country, where demilitarized zones were created.

It is noteworthy that in 2003, the US announced a possibility of a unilateral lifting of the sanctions in circumvention of the UN sanctions. Meanwhile, the UN sanctions were lifted only in 2010.


Sanctions against Lebanon were introduced in 2012 and were aimed at persons undermining the sovereignty of Lebanon or its democratic processes and institutions.

As in the case of other countries, a ban on entering the US was introduced, and assets and operations of the persons targeted by the sanctions were frozen.


In 2011, the US imposed trade and financial sanctions against Libya.

A number of state banks and companies came within the restrictions and were prohibited to do business in the USA.

The sanctions were introduced in order to counter the Muammar Gaddafi regime, but were removed at the request of the new government.

The USA also signed a trade and investment agreement with Libya in the framework of the resumption of the economic relations after a long break.

North Korea

For the first time, the US introduced economic sanctions against the DPRK in 1950, and they lasted until 2008.

In 1995-1996, the sanctions in the field of energy supplies and financing were loosened.

In response to the expansion of the nuclear program, the sanctions against arms supplies and money laundering were strengthened. The toughening was intended to increase pressure on the authorities and force them to return to the negotiation process.

The last additional restrictions were introduced in 2013. They were connected with the activities of North Korea’s Foreign Trade Bank and some individuals.


US Sanctions against Somalia are connected with the activities of the al-Shabaab military group.

The sanctions were introduced in 2010.

At that time, Al-Shabaab was controlling a part of the capital of the country and the entire Southern Somalia, and the US authorities suspected al-Shabaab of being connected with al Qaeda.

Entry to the USA was banned for a number of persons suspected of belonging to Somali militant groups, and their assets were frozen.


In 2007, the USA imposed unilateral economic sanctions against Sudan.

30 Sudanese companies were prohibited from conducting trade relations with the US and obtaining financing from US banks.

Their assets in the US were frozen.

South Sudan

In 2014, sanctions were imposed against South Sudan against the background of clashes between the government and rebels.

The limitation implied freezing and confiscating assets of certain individuals involved in criminal actions.

In addition, American citizens and companies were not allowed to have financial relations with these persons.


The United States introduced economic sanctions against Syria in 2004.

The constraints were related to the fact that, in the opinion of Americans, the authorities supported terrorist organizations, and were also involved in the occupation of Lebanon, development of weapons of mass destruction and assistance to insurgents in Iraq.

Accounts of certain individuals and companies in the US were frozen, and export of almost all goods, except food, medicine and some spare parts, was prohibited.

Air communication was also cancelled.


In March, 2014, sanctions were imposed against three officials from Ukraine and Crimea.

Restrictions on entry to the US and freezing of assets were applied to Viktor Yanukovych, Sergey Aksenov and Viktor Medvedchuk.

In February, a visa ban was issued for about 20 Ukrainian senior officials and other persons.


In 2012, against the background of a civil war in Yemen, the US imposed sanctions against persons belonging to the ruling regime.

They were denied entry to the US, and their assets in the country were frozen.


Sanctions against the leaders of the Zimbabwean regime were introduced in 2002. As usual, their assets were frozen, and they were forbidden to travel to the US. But the sanctions did not cause the desired effect.

There is an opinion that the restriction against the functionaries of the ZanU-PF party do harm to the entire economy of the country, especially as the authorities of Zimbabwe argue that the economic crisis was caused by the sanctions on the part of the international community.


In March, 2014, the US announced introduction of restrictive measures against Russian officials.

Sanctions are applied to the following persons: Vladislav Surkov, Sergei Glaziev, Leonid Slutsky, Andrey Klishas, Valentina Matvienko, Dmitry Rogozin, and Elena Mizulina.

They are prohibited from entering the country and their assets abroad, if available, should be frozen.

In addition, in 2012, a law was adopted introducing sanctions against persons who, according to the US authorities, were guilty of the death of Sergey Magnitsky.

The list of persons banned from entering the USA includes several dozens of names of officials working at the Interior Ministry, Federal Security Service, Federal Tax Service, Arbitration Court, General Prosecutor’s Office and Federal Penitentiary Service.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here