Published: Sun, April 08, 2018
Worldwide | By Sean Reid

Russian Federation vows tough response to new USA sanctions

Russian Federation vows tough response to new USA sanctions

"Russian oligarchs and elites who profit from this corrupt system will no longer be insulated from the consequences of their government's destabilising activities", a statement from the treasury department said on Friday.

"This included their occupation of Crimea, instigation of violence in eastern Ukraine, support for the Assad regime in Syria. and ongoing malicious cyber-activity", the senior official said. Any assets they hold in areas under United States jurisdiction could now be frozen.

"Politicians in Washington have reached such a level of absurdity that they are trying to target our companies that have long maintained business ties with the United States and have thousands of jobs depending on them".

Following the alleged murder attempt of Skripals by nerve agent on British soil, United Kingdom government had expelled 23 diplomats from London which was reciprocated by Russian Foreign Ministry with expulsion of similar number of British diplomats.

Russian state companies under the USA sanctions will receive additional government support, Interfax cited Russia's Industry and Trade Minister Denis Manturov as saying.

United States officials confirmed that their action against the oligarchs was in part related to Russia's alleged interference in the U.S. vote, but stressed the broader nature of their concerns.

"The Russian government operates for the disproportionate benefit of oligarchs and government elites", said Treasury Secretary Steven T. Mnuchin. Putin was widely expected to win reelection due to election fraud, ballot stuffing, and silencing of critics.

The new economic sanctions - the Trump administration's most aggressive action against Kremlin-connected individuals - target 17 Russian government officials, a state-owned weapons trading company, and seven so-called oligarchs and 12 companies affiliated with them.

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"I think it's important to see in today's action, a message".

The action, taken Friday under pressure from the U.S. Congress, freezes the U.S. assets of "oligarchs" such as aluminum tycoon Oleg Deripaska and lawmaker Suleiman Kerimov, whose family controls Russia's largest gold producer, Polyus. Russian oligarchs and their illegal activity have been described in today's Treasury Department press release.

On the London Stock Exchange, global depositary receipts of En+, an energy company majority-owned by Deripaska, dropped by 19 percent on news of the sanctions.

Oleg Deripaska has been sanctioned for his involvement in the energy sector of the Russian Federation.

Senior Trump administration officials cast it as part of a concerted, ongoing effort to push back on Putin, emphasizing that since Trump took office past year, the USA has punished 189 Russia-related people and entities with sanctions.

Other notable figures include Andrei Skoch who now serves as a Deputy of the State Duma and formerly ran a criminal enterprise and Viktor Vekselberg, chairman of the Renova Group, an organization of asset management companies known for their work in the energy sector, as well as for bribing officials.

"Having obtained zero results from the 50 previous rounds of sanctions, Washington continues to employ fear with the refusal to issue American visas, the threatening of Russian businesses with the freezing of companies' assets and property, while forgetting that the requisitioning of private property and other people's money is known as theft", the Ministry added.

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