USA imposes new sanctions on some Russian leaders, entities
08 April, 2018, 02:14 | Author: Diane Mills
The US authorities have also put on the sanction list a number of Russian officials, including Security Council Secretary Nikolai Patrushev, Interior Minister Vladimir Kolokoltsev, chairman of the Federation Council's global affairs committee Konstantin Kosachyov, and head of the federal communications watchdog Roskomnadzor, Aleksander Zharov, as follows from a news release by the US Department of the Treasury. Senior 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 and his inner circle, emphasizing that since Trump took office a year ago, the USA has punished 189 Russian-related people and entities with sanctions. "As the president has said, he wants to have a good relationship with Russia but that's going to depend on some of the actions by the Russians", she said at a news briefing.
There was no immediate reaction from Russia's government.
The fresh sanctions are the latest step by the U.S. against Russia following the poisoning of a former Russian spy in England, interference in the USA 2016 election and a cyberattack, CNN said.
In parallel, and to Trump's fury, former Federal Bureau of Investigation chief Robert Mueller has been empowered as a special prosecutor to investigate possible collusion between the president's campaign and Russian Federation. The Treasury said Deripaska was accused of illegal wiretaps, extortion, racketeering, money laundering and even death threats against business rivals. Deripaska's conglomerate, Basic Element, said it regretted the sanctions and was analyzing it with its lawyers.
Mr Putin's government dismissed the sanctions as "absurdity", arguing that the USA was punishing companies that have longstanding business ties to the US.
The United States' new anti-Russian sanctions cover those biggest Russian businesses that refuse to play to Washington's scenario, the Russian embassy in the United States said in a statement on Friday.
"American democracy is clearly degrading", the ministry said.
Nevertheless, White House spokeswoman Sarah Sanders said the new sanctions did not mean that Trump's offer to sit down with Putin in Washington is off the table.
But during a news conference on Tuesday with Baltic leaders, Trump argued that his administration is taking action.
The president had long disputed the idea that Russia's alleged cyber-espionage and propaganda efforts sped him to victory in the election, seeking better relations with Putin.
Those punished aren't necessarily involved in the Russian actions in Syria, Ukraine or elsewhere that have drawn consternation from the west. But officials said the goal was to put pressure on Mr Putin by showing that those who have benefited financially from his position of power are fair game.
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. In 2003, Shamalov married Putin's daughter.
- Igor Rotenberg, the son of Arkady Rotenberg, a friend of Mr Putin's since they were teenagers. Both Mr Miller and Mr Kostin are longtime key members of Mr Putin's team.
Sanctioned companies include weapons export agency Rosoboronexport and its financial arm Russian Financial Corporation Bank. Many other targets were associated with Russia's energy sector, including parts of Gazprom. Any assets they hold in areas under U.S. jurisdiction could now be frozen. Some, but not all, of the individuals sanctioned will also be prohibited from entering the United States. 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.
McMaster used his final public remarks before retiring Tuesday to publicly call for a tougher line on Russian Federation . Igor Rotenberg , the son of Arkady Rotenberg, a friend of Mr Putin's since they were teenagers.
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