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US targets Russian oligarchs, officials with new sanctions

US targets Russian oligarchs, officials with new sanctions
From Al Jazeera - April 6, 2018

The US Department of the Treasury has announced new sanctions against seven Russian oligarchs, as well as several top government officials and business entities for their alleged roles in what the United States called "worldwide malign activity".

Included in the list of individuals being targeted were Oleg Deripaska, a billionaire businessman and friend of Russian President Vladimir Putin, as well as the president's son-in-law Kirill Shamalov.

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

"The Russian government engages in a range of malign activity around the globe, including continuing to occupy Crimea and instigate violence in eastern Ukraine, supplying the Assad regime with material and weaponry as they bomb their own civilians, attempting to subvert Western democracies and malicious cyber activities," it added.

The US government said Deripaska had been investigated for alleged money laundering activities, as well as accusations of threatening the lives of business rivals.

Meanwhile, Putin's son-in-law, Shamalov, is accused of acquiring a large number of shares of a Russia-based company involved in oil and gas exploration. Shamalov is married to Putin's daughter, Katerina Tikhonova.

Also included were 17 government officials, the Russian Financial Corporation Bank and the state-owned Russian weapons trading company, Rosoboroneksport.

Rosoboronesksport is accused of assisting and providing financial, material, or technological support to the Syrian government.

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