United States introduces sanctions against 38 Russian individuals and entities

07 April, 2018, 00:44 | Author: Mable Gonzales
  • Alex van der Zwaan via YouTube

Although this magazine has frequently lamented President Trump's tendency to praise Vladimir Putin and his regime in public, we've also applauded the administration for its punitive actions against the Kremlin's dictator.

Elizabeth Rosenberg, a former senior U.S. Treasury Department official, said the sanctions were significant, although there is more to do.

Senior Trump administration officials cast it as part of a concerted, ongoing effort to push back on Putin, emphasising that since Trump took office past year, the United States has punished 189 Russian-related people and entities with sanctions. 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).

Russian Federation analyst Boris Zilberman, of Washington think tank Foundation for Defense of Democracies, said the sanctions might finally give Mr. Putin's allies pause as "until there is a change in the Kremlin's behaviour their bottom lines will suffer and their ability to enjoy the spoils of their corruption will be hampered".

Rather than punishing Russia for one specific action, the new sanctions are in response to "the totality of the Russian government's ongoing and increasingly brazen pattern" of bad behaviour, said the officials, who briefed reporters on condition of anonymity.

The sanctions freeze any assets that those targeted have in USA jurisdictions and bars Americans from doing business with them.

State-owned Russian weapons trading company, Rosoboronexport, and the Russian Financial Corporation Bank were also targeted under new U.S. sanctions. "We are told that these measures are not aimed against the Russian people".

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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.

A dozen Russian companies owned by the oligarchs were also targeted, along with a state-owned arms-dealing company and a subsidiary bank, the Treasury Department said.

The officials declined to elaborate why Putin himself was not directly targeted by the sanctions, but emphasized that several in the Russian leader's inner circle were being targeted.

The special counselor Robert Mueller is conducting the investigation of possible links between Donald Trump's association with Russia and the alleged Russian interference in the presidential elections.

The Trump administration has been under pressure by Congress to act to meet demands under a sanctions law passed by Congress in 2017 to punish Russian Federation for interfering in U.S. elections.

The sanctions follow the expulsion of 60 American diplomats from Russia this week, after the nerve-gas poisoning of former Russian double agent Sergei Skripal and his daughter in England.



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