The U.S. on Friday slapped sanctions on Russian oligarchs close to Vladimir Putin in the most aggressive move yet to punish Moscow for alleged meddling in the 2016 U.S. election. Linda So reports.
The U.S. on Friday slapped sanctions on Russian oligarchs close to Vladimir Putin in the most aggressive move yet to punish Moscow for alleged meddling in the 2016 U.S. election.
The sanctions target seven Russian businessmen, the 12 companies they own or control, plus 17 high-ranking government officials.
The action, taken under pressure from Congress, is likely to complicate President Donald Trump’s hopes for better relations with Putin.
The sanctions freeze the U.S. assets of oligarchs such as aluminum tycoon Oleg Deripaska, who once had close ties to Trump’s now-indicted former campaign manager, Paul Manafort.
Also on the list… Kirill Shamalov.. an energy executive and Putin’s son-in-law.
In a statement, Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin said the sanctions are a response to Russia’s “malign activity around the globe”, not only in the U.S. elections .. but also in Ukraine and Syria.
It’s the second swipe at Russia in as many weeks for Trump, after coming under fire from critics for going too easy on Moscow.
Last week, Trump expelled 60 Russian diplomats in connection with the UK nerve agent attack on a former Russia spy and his daughter.
Special Counsel Robert Mueller is investigating whether Trump’s campaign colluded with Russia in the 2016 campaign, which Trump has fiercely denied.