US sanctions Russian oligarchs linked to Putin

The United States on Thursday announced a new round of sanctions targeting Russian oligarchs and their family members who support President Vladimir Putin as he wages war in Ukraine.

The new sanctions include “total blocking sanctions” on at least eight so-called elites in the country and visa restrictions on 19 Russian oligarchs, their 47 family members and relatives, according to the Biden administration.

One of the elites targeted by the United States is Dmitry Peskov, Putin’s press secretary, who was sanctioned earlier this week by the European Union.

Less than an hour later, the UK unveiled its own set of sanctions against Alisher Usmanov and Igor Shuvalov, two of the oligarchs targeted by the US Usmanov and Shuvalov hold a combined wealth of $19 billion.

“In coordination with the United States and other allies, these measures constitute the largest set of financial sanctions in history,” British Foreign Secretary Liz Truss said in a press release.

The Biden administration has said it is targeting visa access in an effort to respond to actions that are seen as “directing, authorizing, funding, significantly supporting, or carrying out malicious activities in support of foreign policy.” destabilizing of Russia”.

The Treasury Department will also designate “disinformation targets,” including seven Russian entities and 26 individuals based in Russia and Ukraine, according to the White House.

“These individuals and their family members will be cut off from the United States financial system, their assets in the United States will be frozen, and their property will be prohibited from use,” the White House said in a backgrounder detailing the sanctions.

President Joe Biden said later Thursday afternoon that the sanctions already imposed on Putin and his inner circle had “had a profound impact.”

Asked at the White House about the expanded sanctions, Press Secretary Jen Psaki said the United States was confident the measures were an effective approach.

The goal of “stifling access to technology as well as cutting off access to the global financial system” is to “maximize impact on Putin and Russia and minimize damage to us and our allies and friends in the world,” Biden said.

The Russian elites named in the White House statement are:

  • Nikolai Tokarev (his wife Galina, his daughter Mayya and his two luxury real estate companies)
  • Boris Rotenberg (his wife Karina, and his sons Roman and Boris)
  • Arkady Rotenberg (his sons Pavel and Igor and his daughter Liliya)
  • Sergei Chemezov (his wife Yekaterina, son Stanislav and daughter-in-law Anastasiya)
  • Shuvalov (his five companies, his wife Olga, his son Evgeny and his company and jet, and his daughter Maria and his company)
  • Yevgeniy Prigozhin (his three companies, wife Polina, daughter Lyubov and son Pavel)
  • Peskov, President Putin’s press secretary
  • Usmanov (his superyacht and private jet, one of Russia’s largest private planes)

The sanctioned Russian entities are: SDN Strategic Culture Foundation and associated outlets; Odna Rodyna, Rhythm of Eurasia and Journal Kamerton; South Front; SDN InfoRos; New Perspectives from the East; Oriental Review; United World International; and Geopolitics.

In a separate statement, the Treasury Department detailed the extravagant wealth of some of those currently under sanctions.

Usmanov’s superyacht, for example, is valued at between $600 million and $735 million, according to treasury officials. The boat, named Dilbar, “has two helipads and one of the world’s largest indoor swimming pools ever installed on a yacht”, and costs around $60 million a year to operate, the Treasury said.

The agency also said that Usmanov’s private business jet, named “Burkhan” after his father, “is registered in the Isle of Man and would have cost between $350 million and $500 million.”

Tokarev, another longtime Putin associate, amassed his fortune as chief executive of Transneft, a state-owned pipeline company responsible for transporting 90% of the oil extracted from Russia. His daughter Mayya runs a real estate business valued at more than $50 million in Moscow alone, the Treasury said.

Part of its business, the officials added, includes “prime seaside real estate on a Croatian island that includes a villa built by the 19th-century Austrian Emperor Franz Joseph I.”

US President Joe Biden delivers his State of the Union address to lawmakers at the US Capitol in Washington, DC, US, March 1, 2022.

Jim Lo Scalzo | Reuters

The sanctions are the latest wave of sanctions imposed by the US, EU and UK and other allies as they work to pressure Putin to end the war on Ukraine.

The EU said late Monday it had added 26 Russian figures and businessmen to its own sanctions list, freezing their financial assets and introducing travel restrictions. Meanwhile, the UK is expected to soon vote to force anonymous foreign owners of British properties to reveal their identities and expand regulations to stop the movement of assets held by the Russian elite.

This is breaking news. Please check for updates.

CNBC’s Amanda Macias contributed to this report.

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