U.S. imposes sanctions against Russian oligarchs and government officials

Alex van der Zwaan via YouTube

The oligarchs targeted have close ties to Russian President Vladimir Putin, pictured with President Donald Trump at the G20 summit in Hamburg, Germany last July.

Among the 17 officials who will be impacted by the new sanctions, one of the most prominent is Oleg Deripaska, an energy and manufacturing mogul who has been previously suspected of money-laundering.

In all the USA has designated seven Russian oligarchs and 12 companies they own or control, 17 senior Russian government officials, and a state-owned Russian weapons trading company and its subsidiary, a Russian bank.

In addition to Deripaska and Kerimov, other businessmen on the sanctions list include Viktor Vekselberg, key owner of Renova holding group who Forbes magazine ranks as Russia's 9th richest businessman with a net worth of $14.4 billion.

Deripaska resigned as president of EN+ in February after he was one of dozens of billionaires placed on a USA government list of Russian oligarchs in January.

What do you think of the new sanctions against Russia's elites? And last month, the United States targeted 19 Russians and five Russian entities with sanctions in the first use of new sanctions powers Congress passed past year in response to the alleged election-meddling. Shamalov is married to Putin's daughter, Katerina Tikhonova.

Last month, the United States targeted 19 Russians and five other entities with sanctions in the first use of the law.

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Assets of all 24 people from Russian Federation and 15 various organizations that fall under the US sanctions and fall under the US jurisdiction are blocked, US entities are banned from dealing with them, according to the US Treasury Department.

Those punished aren't necessarily involved in the Russian actions in Syria, Ukraine or elsewhere that have drawn consternation from the west.

"The Russian government operates for the disproportionate benefit of oligarchs and government elites", Treasury Secretary Steven T. Mnuchin said Friday. The state-owned Russian weapons trading company, Rosoboronexport, which has long-standing ties to Syria and its subsidiary, Russian Financial Corporation Bank were also targeted under new santions.

"Certainly the grounds for putting my name on the list of SDNs as provided by US officials are groundless, ridiculous and absurd", he added, using the acronym for Specially Designated Nationals.

Another senior national-security official said the administration is preparing a series of actions to counter Russian aggression, some of which would be publicized, while others would be covert.

Deripaska, whose business conglomerate controls assets from agriculture to machinery, has been a prominent figure in special counsel Robert Mueller's Russian Federation investigation over his ties to former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort. Days later, the administration expelled 60 Russian diplomats in response to a nerve agent attack on a Russian ex-spy and his daughter in Britain. The sanctions are imposed under the authority of the law Congress passed in August of previous year, the Countering America's Adversaries Through Sanctions Act.

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