U.S. sanctions 24 Russian oligarchs and government officials

U.S. sanctions 24 Russian oligarchs and government officials

The Treasury Department announced new sanctions against seven Russian "oligarchs" - billionaire business titans, often with close relationships to Russian President Vladimir Putin - 12 of their companies, 17 Russian government officials and two Russian companies, including its state arms exporter.

The United States imposed major sanctions on Friday against 24 Russians, striking at allies of President Vladimir Putin in one of Washington's most aggressive moves to punish Moscow for what it called a range of "malign activity", including alleged meddling in the 2016 USA election.

The Trump Administration has authorized new sanctions against several major Russian entities and power players in retaliation for Moscow's interference with the 2016 election.

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"These new sanctions send a clear message to Vladimir Putin that the illegal occupation of Ukraine, support for the Assad regime's war crimes, efforts to undermine Western democracies, and malicious cyberattacks will continue to result in severe consequences for him and those who empower him", Senator Marco Rubio said.

Mnuchin added that the measures were meant to target those who benefit from Russia's "corrupt system" and they will no longer be able to take advantage of this situation. More than 20 countries have expelled more than 100 Russian diplomats and foreign officers in response to the attack.

Many of the Russian oligarchs, politicians and affiliated businesses were identified by the Treasury and State Department as potential targets on a list compiled and published in January.

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Campaigners against Kremlin corruption welcomed the USA move. The Treasury said Deripaska was accused of illegal wiretaps, extortion, racketeering, money laundering and even death threats against business rivals.

The legislation reinforces the USA commitment to the United Kingdom and North Atlantic Treaty Organisation by issuing sanctions against those responsible for the nerve agent attack in the English town of Salisbury, as well as Russian financial institutions, the release said. The United Kingdom alleges that Russian Federation was behind the poisoning. Instead, hot real estate markets in those places make it simple to resell a condo or a mansion and free up legitimate cash.

In 2008, Donald Trump sold an estate he had purchased for around $42 million in Palm Beach, Fla., to Russian tycoon Dmitry Rybolovlev for $95 million. President Donald Trump has denied any collusion, and Russian Federation has denied interfering in the election. American officials expect the sanctions to be noticed far and wide given the high profiles of the people being sanctioned and their proximity to the Kremlin. Other figures targeted include money launderers, racketeers, and members or former members of the Russian mafia. Manafort and Gates have been indicted in the Mueller investigation, and Gates has pleaded guilty. Mr Deripaska has been placed under United States sanctions previously, but officials said those announced Friday were more comprehensive.

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