Published: Sun, April 08, 2018
Global Media | By Garry Long

United States imposes sanctions on 24 Russians close to Vladimir Putin

United States imposes sanctions on 24 Russians close to Vladimir Putin

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. These attacks have included chemical weapons attacks, which claimed the lives of hundreds of Syrian citizens, it said. In February, the USA and the United Kingdom announced they held Russian Federation responsible for what has been called the most costly cyber attack in history.

Following the alleged murder attempt of Skripals by nerve agent on British soil, United Kingdom government had expelled 23 diplomats from London which was reciprocated by Russian Foreign Ministry with expulsion of similar number of British diplomats.

U.S. Secretary of the Treasury Steven Mnuchin speaks in the White House briefing room in Washington on April 26, 2017.

The US has imposed sanctions on seven Russian oligarchs and 17 senior government officials, accusing them of "malign activity around the globe". Following the news of the sanctions, Russian Industry and Trade Minister Denis Manturov announced Russian state companies newly sanctioned by the USA will receive government assistance.

Painter, who left government previous year, criticized Trump's rhetoric toward Putin - including a congratulatory call last month when Putin won another presidential term in a widely criticized election. Putin was widely expected to win reelection due to election fraud, ballot stuffing, and silencing of critics.

Russia will not leave new U.S. sanctions and any future hostile actions without a tough response, the Russian Foreign Ministry has said after Washington announced a new round of restrictions against Moscow.

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"I think it's important to see in today's action, a message".

The sanctions freeze the USA assets of "oligarchs" such as aluminum tycoon Oleg Deripaska, a close associate of President Vladimir Putin, and lawmaker Suleiman Kerimov, whose family controls Russia's largest gold producer, Polyus. But they noted that a number of Russian oligarchs and politicians and affiliated businesses have already been identified by the Treasury and State Department as potential targets.

The Treasury Department describes Shamalov's elevation into "the ranks of the billionaire elite around Putin" after marrying Putin's daughter Katerina Tikhonova in 2013.

On the London Stock Exchange, global depositary receipts of En+, an energy company majority-owned by Mr Deripaska, dropped by 19% on news of the sanctions. The Treasury Department said Mr Deripaska was accused of illegal wiretaps, extortion, racketeering, money laundering and even death threats against business rivals. Other companies that were put on the list include an agriculture company, Agroholding Kuban; one of the largest diversified industrial groups in Russia, the Basic Element; also listed are a vehicle, train and plane producer, Russian Cars (Russkie Mashiny). Senior Trump administration officials cast it as part of a concerted, ongoing effort to push back on Putin, emphasizing that since Trump took office a year ago, the USA has punished 189 Russian-related people and entities with sanctions.

The Trump administration is preparing to impose new sanctions on powerful Russian business and political figures under a law passed previous year in response to alleged Russian meddling in the 2016 election.

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