USA imposes fresh Russian sanctions, Deripaska hit hardest

Manafort Wants Mueller To Divulge More Details About The Case Against Him

The United States has imposed a new round of sanctions against Russian business leaders, further escalating bilateral tensions and prompting a response from Russia's embassy.

The new economic sanctions - the Trump administration's most aggressive action against Kremlin-connected individuals - target 17 Russian government officials, a state-owned weapons trading company, and seven so-called oligarchs and 12 companies affiliated with them.

The latest USA sanctions indeed targeted some major Russian energy companies, such as En+ or Eurosibenergo as well as the United Company RUSAL, which is the world's second-largest aluminum company by primary production output.

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

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

Three officials said Thursday that the Treasury Department would implement the sanctions under the Countering America's Adversaries Through Sanctions Act, known as CAATSA, which was overwhelmingly passed by Congress in 2017 and signed into law by President Donald Trump despite some objections.

There was no immediate reaction from Russia's government.

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"Nobody has been tougher on Russian Federation than I have", Trump said at a news conference on Tuesday.

"This is an example of uncontrolled anti-Russian hysteria led by the USA and successfully exported to the European continent", Slutsky was quoted as saying by the Russian newswire Tass. Any assets they hold in areas under USA jurisdiction could now be frozen. 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.

It was not clear whether any of those hit have significant holdings in the USA that could be seized, and if they did previously, they may have already moved their money elsewhere in anticipation of the sanctions. It was not clear whether any of those hit have significant, or any, holdings that would be covered and majority were warned of possible penalties in January when they were identified as possible targets on lists published by the Treasury and State departments.

The list also includes Russian aluminum magnate Oleg Deripaska, a billionaire with alleged ties to Trump's former campaign chairman Paul Manafort who is facing money laundering charges, and banker Sergei Gorkov, who was dispatched by Russia in December 2016 to meet Trump's son-in-law Jared Kushner at Trump Tower.

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.

Associated Press writers Matthew Lee and Catherine Lucey in Washington and Vladimir Isachenkov and Nataliya Vasilyeva in Moscow contributed.

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