US slaps sanctions on Russian oligarchs

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The United States lammed sanctions on Russian oligarchs close to Vladimir Putin over alleged meddling by Moscow in the 2016 US 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, might hamper President Donald Trump’s hopes for better relations with Putin. The sanctions freeze the US assets of oligarchs such as aluminum tycoon Oleg Deripaska, who once had close ties to Trump’s now-indicted former campaign manager, Paul Manafort. 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.

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