Monday, 28 May, 2018

USA takes aim at Putin's allies in Russian Federation with new sanctions

Trump administration imposes sweeping new sanctions on Russian elite US hits Russian oligarchs, senior officials with new sanctions
Faye Gross | 08 April, 2018, 01:04

"Now, the sanctions cover captains of Russian business who refuse to play to Washington's scenario", the embassy said. 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.

Russia's President Vladimir Putin, left, and Russian metals magnate Oleg Deripaska walk to attend the APEC Business Advisory Council dialogue in Danang, Vietnam, Nov. 10, 2017.

Such sanctions place the United States in the category of "enemies of the market economy and honest and free competition" as they "use administrative methods to eliminate competitors in foreign markets".

In all, President Donald Trump's administration targeted seven oligarchs, 12 companies they own or control, 17 senior Russian officials and the state-owned arms export company Rosoboronexport.

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.

Washington's move against the Russian business houses and individuals would mean that their assets will be frozen in the U.S., while Americans will be blocked from doing business with them. "As the president has said, he wants to have a good relationship with Russia but that's going to depend on some of the actions by the Russians", she said at a news briefing.

"The requisitioning of private property and other people's money is known as theft", the ministry added.

The ongoing diplomatic tussle between Russian Federation and United States, which was triggered after alleged poisoning of a former spy Sergei Skripal and his daughters in UK by nerve gas agent, is being expanded on each passing day.

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Campaigners against Kremlin corruption welcomed the USA move. But Leonid Slutsky, who chairs the foreign relations committee in Russia's lower house of parliament, said there was "no sensible reasons or grounds" for the USA actions.

The sanctions come weeks after the poisoning of the former double agent, Sergei Skripal in the United Kingdom, which lead to a worldwide diplomatic backlash against Russia with more than 100 Russian diplomats expelled from countries across the globe in response.

The seizure of Russian diplomatic facilities in the USA has demonstrated that "the right to private property, once sacred for Americans, has become an empty phrase", the ministry said.

The president had long disputed the idea that Russia's alleged cyber-espionage and propaganda efforts sped him to victory in the election, seeking better relations with Putin. "The Russian government operates for the disproportionate benefit of oligarchs and government elites", Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said.

Painter, who left government past year, criticized Trump's rhetoric toward Putin - including a congratulatory call last month when Putin won another presidential term in a widely criticized election.

Mnunchin claimed that Russian oligarchs and elites profited from this "corrupt system" and could no longer be protected despite their government's activities.

Ties had already plummeted to a post Cold War low over last month's attack on a former Russian double agent living in England.

Putin's government dismissed the sanctions as "absurdity", arguing that the U.S. was punishing companies that have longstanding business ties to the U.S. The Russian Foreign Ministry said the U.S. was "striking at ordinary Americans" by jeopardizing "thousands of jobs".

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