Russia promises 'tough response' to US sanctions

Russia promises 'tough response' to US sanctions

The US Department of Treasury has released an update to the sanctions against Russia, with seven Russian tycoons, 12 major companies and 17 government officials added to the Specially Designated Nationals And Blocked Persons List (SDN List).

The assets of all 24 people from Russian Federation and 15 various organizations that fall under the US sanctions and under US jurisdiction have been blocked, and American entities are banned from dealing with them, according to the US Treasury Department.

Trump has continued to avoid directly criticising Putin himself, and recently invited the Russian leader to meet with him, possibly at the White House. Any assets they hold in areas under USA jurisdiction could now be frozen. But they noted that a number of Russian oligarchs and politicians and affiliated businesses have already been identified by the Treasury and State Department as potential targets. The administration officials said Americans who may now have business with them would be given guidance about how to wind down that business and avoid running afoul of the sanctions.

He said Moscow "engages in a range of malign activity around the globe, including continuing to occupy Crimea and instigate violence in Eastern Ukraine, supplying the Assad regime with material and weaponry as they bomb their own civilians, attempting to subvert Western democracies, and malicious cyber activities".

More news: U.S. sanctions 24 Russian oligarchs and government officials

The politicians noted in the joint statement that Russia's government has authorized an attack on the British territory, which is a violation of the global law. Many other targets were associated with Russia's energy sector, including parts of Gazprom. Officials said the goal was to show that those who have benefited financially from Putin's position of power are fair game for USA punishments, noting that many of those being sanctioned are closely tied to Putin himself. Both Mr Miller and Mr Kostin are longtime key members of Mr Putin's team.

Senior administration officials on Friday stressed that the sanctions were not targeted at the Russian people, but were meant to cripple the finances of those elites who have "disproportionately benefited from the bad decisions made by the Kremlin on their behalf", according to one of the officials.

However, now actual targeted personal sanctions for some of the 210 oligarchs that appeared on the Kremlin List could bring about a second wave of agitation in the Russian business elite.

"What we see in the sanctions is a USA attempt to split Russian society", the Russian embassy in the United States said in its statement, adding that such attempts would fail.

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"As far as I am concerned the only thing I'm surprised at is that this didn't happen earlier", he told the Interfax news agency.

Trump begrudgingly signed the Countering America's Adversaries Through Sanctions Act (CAATSA) in August past year, despite arguing that it undermined his own authority to lead U.S. foreign policy. "Now, the sanctions cover captains of Russian business who refuse to play to Washington's scenario", the embassy said. Known as CAATSA, the law was overwhelmingly passed by Congress in 2017 and signed by President Donald Trump despite some objections. The law also authorizes the president to impose sanctions on Iran for destabilising activity in the Middle East and North Korea for its nuclear and ballistic missile programs.

"We would like to advise Washington to get rid of illusions that we can be spoken with the language of sanctions", the ministry said.

More news: Carles Puigdemont released on bail by German court

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