18 July 2019

US sanctions Russian oligarchs, senior officials

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Washington slapped sanctions on dozens of Russian individuals and entities Friday, including seven Russian oligarchs and 17 senior Russian officials. reports citing AA.

The widespread penalties are in retaliation for what Washington says are Moscow's increasingly malign activities ranging from its annexation of Crimea to continued support of the Syrian regime, as well as its efforts "to subvert Western democracies, and malicious cyber activities".

"The Russian government operates for the disproportionate benefit of oligarchs and government elites,” Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said in a statement announcing the economic penalties.

"Russian oligarchs and elites who profit from this corrupt system will no longer be insulated from the consequences of their government’s destabilizing activities.”

Those designated Friday include some of Russia's richest men, among them energy tycoons Vladimir Bogdanov and Oleg Deripaska. Also sanctioned were Suleiman Kerimov, a Russian financier who is close to Russian President Vladimir Putin; oil executive Igor Rotenberg; energy executive Kirill Shamalov; Russian billionaire businessman Andrei Skoch; and Putin's ex-son-in-law Kirill Shamalov.

Twelve companies owned by the seven Russian businessmen were also sanctioned.

Among the government officials blacklisted Friday are state-owned Gazprombank Chairman Andrey Akimov and Gazprom Neft board member Sergey Fursenko.

As a result of Friday's actions U.S. individuals are generally prohibited from doing business with the entities and individuals, and any assets they possess in the U.S. have been frozen.

The U.S. further sanctioned Rosoboroneksport, a Russian state-owned weapons trading firm the Treasury Department says has "longstanding and ongoing ties to the Government of Syria, with billions of dollars’ worth of weapons sales over more than a decade".

Rosoboroneksport subsidiary Russian Financial Corporation Bank was also designated for its ties to the firm.

"Russia has contributed to the instability of the Government of Syria through the sales and transfer of Russian-origin military equipment in support of Assad’s regime, enabling Assad to continue carrying out attacks against Syrian citizens," the Treasury Department said.

In its statement, Rosoboronexport weapons trading company said: "We are studying the document, final conclusions have not yet been drawn. However, the fact that precisely Rosoboronexport has been targeted, confirms the real purpose of sanctions.

"All these loud words and accusations are just a pretext to oust Russia from the global arms market. Rude and pragmatic. This is pure unfair competition."

2018.04.06 / 20:16
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