United States implements sweeping sanctions against Russian oligarchs

United States implements sweeping sanctions against Russian oligarchs

United States implements sweeping sanctions against Russian oligarchs

The administration of President Donald Trump also accused Russian Federation of a continuing operation to hack the U.S. energy grid and other critical infrastructure, and spying on the United States.

The sanctions will also affect 12 companies controlled by those on the list: Basic Element (associated with Oleg Deripaska), En+ and the Kuban agroholding, as well as Viktor Vekselberg's Renova Group.

Officials listed Russia's "occupation of Crimea, instigation of violence in Eastern Ukraine, support for Assad in Syria, and ongoing malicious activity", including cyberactivity, as reasons for the economic sanctions.

The Treasury Department announced that the new penalties will target a dozen Russian companies controlled by the nation's oligarchs and key allies of Vladimir Putin.

Included on the sanctions list is Oleg Deripaska, a billionaire connected to former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort, who is now under indictment for money laundering charges.

Last month, the Treasury Department announced sanctions on 24 Russian entities and individuals in an effort it said shows the Trump administration is "confronting and countering malign Russian cyber activity".

Russian oligarch Suleiman Kerimov, who was arrested in France late past year and named in the list of sanctioned individuals, also appeared in a recent BuzzFeed News investigation into Russian cyberactivity.


Rather than punishing Russia for one specific action, the new sanctions are in response to "the totality of the Russian government's ongoing and increasingly brazen pattern" of bad behaviour, said the officials, who briefed reporters on condition of anonymity.

Kirill Shamalov married Putin's daughter Katerina Tikhonova in February 2013 "and his fortunes drastically improved following the marriage" that have helped to build his personal welath into the billions. The sanctions will freeze all USA assets of those listed and prevent Americans from doing business with them. American officials expect the sanctions to be noticed far and wide given the high profiles of the people being sanctioned and their proximity to the Kremlin. But most importantly, this response to Russia's continued attempts to subvert Western democracies.

Last month, the U.S. targeted 19 Russians and five other entities with sanctions in the first use of the law.

Campaigners against Kremlin corruption welcomed the USA move.

"The Russian government operates for the disproportionate benefit of oligarchs and government elites", Treasury Secretary Steven T. Mnuchin said Friday.

Putin's government was blamed for the poisoning of a former Russian double agent living in close USA ally Britain last months, and the United States and several European states announced plans to expel more than 100 Russian diplomats in response. And we've urged the administration to go further by, for instance, listing Russian Federation as a state sponsor of terrorism and targeting Putin's wealthy cronies with Treasury sanctions.

The officials declined to elaborate why Putin himself was not directly targeted by the sanctions, but emphasized that several in the Russian leader's inner circle were being targeted. The law was overwhelmingly passed by Congress in 2017 and signed by President Trump despite some objections.

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