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War in Ukraine | Washington will impose new sanctions on Russian oligarchs



(Washington) The US government will impose new sanctions on Russian oligarchs on Thursday as part of the Western response to Moscow’s invasion of Ukraine, including a ban on entering the United States, the AFP a source close to the file.

Washington had already sanctioned Russian businessmen, relatives of the Kremlin and even Russian President Vladimir Putin last week, freezing their possible assets in the United States. But the European Union added more oligarchs to its own blacklist on Monday.

The new American sanctions expected Thursday will allow the United States to align with the European list, according to this source which confirms information from the Bloomberg agency.

But they will go beyond by including their family members in the freezing of their assets, to prevent them from transferring their property to their relatives, as well as a ban on entry to American soil.

This source did not provide the precise list of those targeted.

The Americans had already added to their blacklist since last week Igor Setchin, the boss of the Rosneft group, one of the largest crude oil producers in the world, Alexander Vediakhine, senior executive of the bank Sberbank, as well as Andrei Poutchkov and Yuri Soloviev, leaders of VTB Bank.

On Monday, the EU went further by sanctioning Nikolai Tokarev, CEO of Transneft, another heavyweight in the oil and gas sector. The Europeans also targeted Alisher Usmanov, a businessman close to the Russian president, bankers Petr Olegovich Aven and Mikhail Fridman, shareholder and founder of the conglomerate Alpha Group, as well as Peter Fradkov, the president of Promsvyazbank.

Businessmen Gennady Timchenko, billionaire co-founder of Gunvor, a commodity trading company, Alexei Mordashov, steel magnate, owner of the Severstal steel group, and cellist Sergei Pavlovich Roldougin are also among the relatives of President Putin sanctioned by the EU.

This new wave of American punitive measures comes as several of these billionaires are under pressure or are beginning to distance themselves from the war started by Vladimir Putin in Ukraine.

US President Joe Biden promised, Tuesday evening during a speech to Congress, to hunt down the “ill-gotten gains” of the Russian oligarchs and to seize their “yachts, luxury apartments, and private jets”.

In coordination with the Europeans, Washington thus created on Wednesday a cell of investigators responsible for pursuing them and, possibly, seizing these luxury goods.

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