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US foreign policy

New round of US sanctions on Russia targets Putin allies, govt officials

God Nisanov, who Secretary of State Antony Blinken said was one of the richest men in Europe, was also sanctioned alongside Maria Zakharova, the spokesperson of the Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

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The US issued another round of sanctions against Russian elites and networks on Thursday as it maintains pressure on Vladimir Putin for his ongoing war against Ukraine.

“Russia’s elites, up to and including President Putin, rely on complex support networks to hide, move, and maintain their wealth and luxury assets,” Under Secretary of the Treasury for Terrorism and Financial Intelligence Brian Nelson said.

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In a statement from the Treasury Department, Nelson said the US would go after those responsible for “shielding and maintaining these ill-gotten interests.”

“We will continue to enforce our sanctions and expose the corrupt systems by which President Putin and his elites enrich themselves,” he added.

Among those targeted in Thursday’s action was Sergei Roldugin, who the US says is “a custodian of President Putin’s offshore wealth.”

God Nisanov, who Secretary of State Antony Blinken said was one of the richest men in Europe, was also sanctioned alongside Maria Zakharova, the spokesperson of the Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

Zakharova was previously sanctioned by the EU, UK, Japan, Australia and New Zealand.

Alexey Mordashov, his wife and two adult children were part of the latest sanctions package as well. Mordashov, another billionaire, heads several companies worth billions of dollars.

The president of Russia’s state-owned United Aircraft Corporation, the minister of economic development of the Russia Federation, the minister of transport, the minister of construction, housing and utilities, and the deputy PM and chief of the Government Staff were all sanctioned.

The Treasury said it declared four luxury yachts linked to Putin and on which he has taken numerous trips as “blocked property,” meaning they can be seized.

In addition, it took aim at Imperial Yachts, based in Monaco and operating a Moscow office serving Russian tycoons, and its owner Evgeniy Kochman.

Imperial both leases yachts to the Russian elite and manages yachts owned by Russian oligarchs, the Treasury said.

The sanctions on Imperial include placing a block on its largest yacht, the three-year-old, 136-meter “Flying Fox,” which was raided by authorities in the Dominican Republic on April 1 on a US request as part of an investigation on alleged money laundering and arms trafficking.

“President Putin’s war against Ukraine is also an attack on the principles of sovereignty and territorial integrity, enshrined in the UN Charter,” Blinken said in his statement. “The United States will continue to support the people of Ukraine while promoting accountability for President Putin and those enabling Russian aggression.”

Read more: Ukrainian embassy says Russia ships ‘stolen’ wheat to Syria

- With Reuters

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