US sanctions Putin’s ‘girlfriend’ and other oligarchs for ‘complicity’ in Ukraine crisis – Reuters

Nearly 900 Russian officials have been placed on a visa ban list in America



Photo: AP

By AFP

Published: Wed 03 Aug 2022, 09:38

The United States blacklisted Russian President Vladimir Putin’s alleged girlfriend, as well as the tycoon who owns London’s second-largest estate on Tuesday in the latest round of sanctions over ongoing disputes between Russia and the United States. Ukraine.

Several other oligarchs believed to be close to Putin have also been hit by US trade bans, four officials responsible for administering occupied territories in Ukraine and about two dozen high-tech institutes and companies, including entities state-backed key electronics.

The US Treasury has announced sanctions against Putin business partner and billionaire Andrey Grigoryevich Guryev, owner of the Witanhurst estate: London’s second largest estate, after Buckingham Palace. Guryev is the founder and former vice president of PhosAgro, a major supplier to global fertilizer markets.

He and his son have been hit with financial sanctions, which prohibit US companies – including banks with US branches – from doing business with them and freeze their assets (those in US jurisdictions).

It has also blacklisted Guryev’s Caribbean-based 81m yacht Alfa Nero, putting it at risk of seizure. However, the Treasury reported that Alfa Nero had “turned off its location tracking hardware to avoid seizure”.

The Treasury also imposed sanctions on Alina Kabaeva, a former Olympic gymnast widely described as Putin’s girlfriend, and Natalya Popova, the wife of Kirill Dmitriev, the manager of the Russian government’s huge sovereign wealth fund. He claimed that Popova worked for the tech company Innopraktika, which is run by one of Putin’s daughters.

“While innocent people suffer from Russia’s unlawful war of aggression, Putin’s allies have enriched themselves and funded opulent lifestyles,” Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen said in a statement.

“The Treasury Department will use every tool at our disposal to ensure that Russian elites and Kremlin enablers are held accountable for their complicity in a war that has cost countless lives,” she added.

Viktor Filippovich Rashnikov, one of Russia’s biggest taxpayers, and two subsidiaries of his MMK, which is among the world’s largest steel producers, were also hit with sanctions.

In a joint action, the State Department imposed sanctions – including visa restrictions – on oligarchs “running huge revenue-generating businesses”, including Dmitry Aleksandrovich Pumpyanskiy, Andrey Igorevich Melnichenko and Alexander Anatolevich Ponomarenko.

In addition, nearly 900 Russian officials have been placed on a US visa ban list, along with 31 unnamed non-Russian officials who had supported Russia’s occupation of Crimea, the State Department said.

“Today, the United States is taking additional steps to ensure that the Kremlin and its enablers feel the cumulative effects of our response to the Kremlin’s impermissible war of aggression,” Secretary of State Antony Blinken concluded. .

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