World · August 2, 2022

News on war in Ukraine: US hits oligarchs and Russian companies with new sanctions

Credit…Leon Neal / Getty Images

WASHINGTON – The State Department announced on Tuesday a major new round of sanctions against dozens of Russian companies and individuals to further punish Moscow for its invasion of Ukraine, including oligarchs close to President Vladimir V. Putin and linked technology institutions. with the Russian army.

“While Ukrainians continue to valiantly defend their homeland in the face of President Putin’s brutal war, the Russian elite runs huge revenue-generating companies and funds their opulent lifestyles outside of Russia,” said the secretary of Antony J. Blinken state in a statement announcing the measure.

Many of the new targets on the new State Department list, or a list announced Tuesday by the Treasury Department, are already subject to sanctions imposed by the European Union and Great Britain. One is Alina Kabaeva, a former Olympic gymnast and a member of the Russian State Duma who has long been believed to be Mr. Putin’s romantic partner.

The move prevents Ms. Alina from accessing any assets in the United States or from conducting transactions with Americans and denies her a visa to enter the United States.

Other new targets include several billionaires: Dmitry Pumpyanskiy, president of a Russian steelmaker; Andrey Melnichenko, the founder of the fertilizer and coal company; and Alexander Ponomarenko, a businessman who has “close ties to other oligarchs and the construction of Vladimir Putin’s seaside palace,” said Blinken.

The new measures also include two dozen of the “leading defense-related research and development institutions, semiconductor manufacturers, and advanced IT and electronics entities,” Blinken said. They include the Moscow Institute of Physics and Technology, which developed drones and other devices for the Russian military.

Putin has “repeatedly stressed his concerns about Russia’s access to microelectronics,” states a State Department fact sheet, saying the new measures would give a new blow to the Russian war machine.

Daniel Fried, a former US sanctions policy coordinator in the Obama administration, called the new measures “solid work,” saying actions against high-tech entities were particularly significant.

He also said that experts on Russia and sanctions took note of the measures against Putin’s alleged romantic partner. “Many of us smiled when we saw Kabaeva,” she said.

Mr. Fried urged the Biden administration to redouble its efforts to impose a more consequential global cap on the purchase price of Russian oil, which could deprive the Kremlin of billions of dollars in revenue. The leaders of the Group of Seven discussed this limit at a meeting in Germany in late June, but no, but they did not announce a concrete plan.

“They have to deliver – it’s been a month,” he said. “They need something effective to dent Putin’s income. This package is good, but the need calls for even more ”.

Also on the new US list is the Joint Stock Company State Transportation Leasing Company, a state-owned enterprise that the State Department has identified as the largest Russian transportation leasing company, and four of its subsidiaries.

And the State Department will impose visa restrictions on 893 other Russian government officials, for hostile actions against Ukraine, along with 31 foreign government officials who have backed Russia’s claims on Ukrainian territory, Blinken said.

Mr. Blinken said the US is also imposing sanctions on four men and one organization for “illegally operating in the territory of Ukraine in cooperation with Russia”. One of the four is Kostyantyn Ivashchenko, that US officials called “the illegitimate Russian-controlled mayor of Mariupol.”

The organization identified by American officials is the Salvation Committee for Peace and Order, which according to the State Department was established in Ukraine’s Kherson region to support Moscow’s efforts to take control of that area.

Among the sanctioning targets of the Treasury Department are three “elites connected to the Kremlin”. They include Andrey Guryev, Putin’s “known close associate” who owns Witanhurst, a 25-bedroom mansion and park that is said to be the second largest residential property in London, after Buckingham Palace, the department said in a statement. press.

The Treasury Department also sanctioned Mr. Guryev’s yacht, the Alfa Nero, which he allegedly purchased for $ 120 million in 2014. The department said the Alfa Nero would shut down its tracking system.