USA imposes more sanctions on Russian Federation
- Karl Malone
Russian oligarch Oleg Deripaska said the US decision to impose sanctions on him on Friday was "groundless, ridiculous and absurd". Senior Trump 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, emphasizing that since Trump took office past year, the us has punished 189 Russian-related people and entities with sanctions. The officials ticked through a list of complaints about Russia's actions beyond its borders, including its annexation of Crimea, backing of separatist rebels in eastern Ukraine, support for Syrian President Bashar Assad, and cyber-hacking.
These sanctions were the latest step by the U.S. against Russia following the poisoning of a former Russian spy on British soil, interference in the United States 2016 election and a cyberattack, described as the most damaging in history, CNN reported.
Deripaska resigned as president of EN+ in February after he was one of dozens of billionaires placed on a USA government list of Russian oligarchs in January.
Douglas Jacobson, an attorney with Jacobson Burton Kelley firm in Washington, D.C., said that while the sanctions prohibit USA banks from helping the companies targeted on Friday raise capital, most other worldwide Western banks also are likely to also follow suit.
Deripaska and other oligarchs on the list were not immediately available for comment but a spokesperson for Deripaska's industrial group Basic Element said:"The Company regrets this development and is now analysing the situation with its legal advisors".
Donald Trump has slapped "malign" Russian officials and oligarchs connected to Vladimir Putin with crippling sanctions Friday.
"American democracy is clearly degrading", the ministry said. Some Russian lawmakers have already spoken about a possible "asymmetric response" that could target the USA both politically and economically.
Trump has continued to avoid directly criticizing Putin and has invited the Russian leader to America, raising the specter of him visiting the White House.
"Nobody has been tougher on Russian Federation than I have", Trump said at a news conference on Tuesday.
"Not at all", Sanders said.
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Russian Security Council Secretary Nikolai Patrushev said, however, Moscow's contacts with the US government would not be brought to an end by the sanctions.
Ms. Mandelker and other senior officials have said the administration will continue to increase pressure on Moscow.
The seven oligarchs sanctioned were Viktor Vekselberg, Andrei Skoch, Kirill Shamalov, Igor Rotenberg, Suleiman Kerimov, Oleg Deripaska and Vladimir Bogdanov. Yet others on the list are far from the Kremlin's orbit, including some who long have fallen out of favor or hold technical positions. Neither Mr Putin nor the Kremlin have acknowledged that she is his daughter. Alexey Miller, CEO of Gazprom, Nikolai Patrushev, Secretary of the Security Council of Russian Federation, and Aleksandr Zharov, the Head of Roskomnadzor (Federal Service for Supervision in the Sphere of Telecom, Information Technologies and Mass Communications, - ed.) appeared in the sanctions list as well.
A state-owned arms-dealing company, accused by the U.S. of selling to Syrian President Bashar Assad, was also targeted, along with a subsidiary bank.
Numerous targets listed are individuals and businesses associated with Russia's energy sector, including those affiliated with state-owned Gazprom.
The prospect of the oligarch sanctions has rattled Russia's elite, prompting some to move their assets out of reach of US and Western authorities, USA and European officials said.
The sanctions were supported by Congress, and they were approved by Trump, who the Washington Post said signed the decree "grudgingly".
On top of the seven individuals, 12 companies have been designated: British Virgin Islands-based B-Finance, Jersey-based firms Basic Element, United Company Rusal and EN+ Group; Russian electricity firm EuroSibEnergo; Russian Machines: Gaz Group and Agroholding Kuban have all been sanctioned for their connection to Deripeska.
"Certainly the grounds for putting my name on the list of SDNs as provided by USA officials are groundless, ridiculous and absurd", he added, using the acronym for Specially Designated Nationals.
Aluminum plunderbund Oleg Deripaska, for example, a onetime patron of former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort, is a private business titan who was described by the Treasury Department on Friday as having "acted or purported to act for, or on behalf of, directly or indirectly, a senior official of the" Russian government. The sanctions are imposed under the authority of the law Congress passed in August of a year ago, the Countering America's Adversaries Through Sanctions Act. In tandem with European allies, the Trump administration expelled dozens of Russian diplomats and shut down the Russian consulate in Seattle.
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