Published: Sun, April 08, 2018
Global | By Craig Ferguson

United States imposes sanctions on 24 Russians close to Vladimir Putin

United States imposes sanctions on 24 Russians close to Vladimir Putin

Washington officials as well as the US media, however, have repeatedly claimed that the new sanctions are aimed exclusively at "Russian oligarchs and [government] elites, who profit from this corrupt system", as it was put by the US Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin.

Russian businessmen and entrepreneurs, whose fortune exceeds $ 1 billion, were included in the sanctions list.

Recently, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said that Moscow has not received official confirmation of reports in foreign media on the United States possible plans to put Russian businessmen on its sanctions lists.

Rather than punishing Russian Federation for one specific action, the new sanctions hit back at the Kremlin for its "ongoing and increasingly brazen pattern" of bad behavior, said the officials, who weren't authorized to comment by name and briefed reporters on condition of anonymity.

Russian state companies under the US sanctions will receive additional government support, Interfax cited Russia's Industry and Trade Minister Denis Manturov as saying. "We are in frequent communication with USA allies, particularly in Europe and have been committed throughout this process to making sure that key allies are aware of the decisions that are being made, what the next steps are, and of course we're also taking steps in our engagements with them to see and mitigate any unintended consequences", a senior administration official said in a press briefing on Friday.

"The Russian government operates for the disproportionate benefit of oligarchs and government elites", Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin said in a statement. Non-US citizens can also face sanctions if they "knowingly facilitate significant transactions for or on behalf of the blocked individuals or entities", the Treasury Department said.

Washington's move against the Russian business houses and individuals would mean that their assets will be frozen in the United States, while Americans will be blocked from doing business with them. But the administration said it would give guidance to Americans who may now have business with them about how to wind down that business and avoid running afoul of the sanctions.

"Washington has delivered yet another blow on the Russian-US relations".

These entities have been punished for their "malign activity around the world", the US Treasury Department said.

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