The Trump administration just imposed even more sanctions against seven Russian oligarchs with connections to President Vladimir Putin. Sanctions also were unleashed on the 12 companies they own or control.
These new measures were announced by the Treasury Department on Friday. Sanctions were also focused on 17 senior Russian government officials and the state-owned Russian weapons trading company, Rosoboronexport. This company has a long-term tie with Syria and its subsidiary, Russian Financial Corporation Bank.
“Russian oligarchs and elites who profit from this corrupt system will no longer be insulated from the consequences of their government’s destabilizing activities,” Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said in a statement. He cited Russia’s occupation in Crimea and its ongoing efforts to supply the Assad regime in Syria with materials and weapons.
The new sanctions target Russian oligarchs including Kirill Shamalov, who married Putin’s daughter. He has amassed a fortune since they tied the knot in February 2013. Oleg Deripaska, a senior Russian official who has been investigated for money laundering, was also targeted. And Suleiman Kerimov as well, who allegedly brought millions of euros into France in suitcases, according to the Treasury Department.
This is the most recent step taken by the United States against Russia following the poisoning of a former Russian spy in England, interference in the 2016 election and a cyber attack that was described as the most damaging in history.
Congress has been putting pressure on the Trump administration to act and meet demands under a sanctions law passed by Congress last summer to punish Russia for interfering in US elections.
U.S. officials identified more than 200 wealthy Russians, top officials and business leaders in January and in March imposed sanctions on Russian government hackers and spy agencies for interfering in the 2016 election and the cyberattack.
Assets of 17 senior Russian officials will now be frozen, including Nikolai Patrushev, secretary of the Russian Federation Security Council; Vladimir Kolokoltsev, minister of internal affairs and general police of the Russian Federation; and Evgeniy Shkolov, an aide to Putin.
The companies targeted by these new sanctions include GAZ Group, Russia’s leading manufacturer of commercial vehicles owned by Deripaska, and Russian Machines and Renova Group, which is made up of investment funds and management companies operating in the energy sector in Russia.