United States sanctions 24 Russian oligarchs and government officials

Hannah Rogers
April 7, 2018

Although this magazine has frequently lamented President Trump's tendency to praise Vladimir Putin and his regime in public, we've also applauded the administration for its punitive actions against the Kremlin's dictator.

Apart from the seven oligarchs punished, 12 companies that they own or control were also sanctioned, including B-Finance based in the British Virgin Islands, Basic Element, EN+ Group, EuroSibEnergo (all linked to Deripaska), Gazprom Burenie, and Renova Group.

The United States punished dozens of Russian oligarchs and government officials on Friday with sanctions that took direct aim at President Vladimir Putin's inner circle, as President Donald Trump's administration tried to show he's not afraid to take tough action against Moscow.

Those hit include metals magnate Oleg Deripaska, described as operating for the Russian government, as well as Alexei Miller, director of state-owned energy giant Gazprom.

Also on the list are tycoon Suleiman Kerimov, under investigation in France over allegations he brought in millions of euros in suitcases full of cash, and Kirill Shamalov, a billionaire reported to be Mr. Putin's son-in-law. Senior Trump administration officials cast the penalties as part of a concerted and ongoing effort by the U.S.to push back Russian President Vladimir Putin's government, emphasizing that since Trump took office a year ago, the USA has punished 189 Russian-related people and entities with sanctions.

Many of the Russian oligarchs, politicians and affiliated businesses were identified by the Treasury and State Department as potential targets on a list compiled and published in January.

At a news conference Tuesday, he said: 'Nobody has been tougher on Russian Federation than I have'.

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The legislation reinforces the USA commitment to the United Kingdom and North Atlantic Treaty Organisation by issuing sanctions against those responsible for the nerve agent attack in the English town of Salisbury, as well as Russian financial institutions, the release said. And while it temporarily spooked investors in Russian markets, economists say it has had little visible effect on Russia's economy so far.

The prospect of the oligarch sanctions has rattled Russia's elite, prompting some to move their assets out of reach of US and Western authorities, USA and European officials said. But most importantly, this response to Russia's continued attempts to subvert Western democracies.

Summary: The United States imposed new economic sanctions on Russian elites starting Friday.

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

Campaigners against Kremlin corruption welcomed the US move.

Washington has put Russia's state arms exporter Rosoboronexport on the sanctions list, meaning any country that trades with Russia's defence or intelligence sectors will also be targeted.

The Trump administration has been under pressure by Congress to act to meet demands under a sanctions law passed by Congress last summer to punish Russian Federation for interfering in U.S. elections.

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