U.S. sanctions more Putin allies over Ukraine invasion

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The U.S. Department of Treasury announced new sanctions on Thursday against more Russian oligarchs and their family members and companies in retaliation for Moscow’s invasion of Ukraine.

Why it matters: Among those targeted are Alisher Usmanov, one of Russia’s wealthiest people, President Vladimir Putin spokesman Dmitry Peskov and businessman Yevgeniy Prigozhin, who is wanted by the FBI for interfering in the 2016 election.

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  • The new sanctions come after the Department of Justice announced the creation of a task force to freeze and seize the assets of Russian oligarchs who have aided Putin’s invasion, according to the New York Times.

What they’re saying: “These individuals have enriched themselves at the expense of the Russian people, and some have elevated their family members into high-ranking positions. Others sit atop Russia’s largest companies and are responsible for providing the resources necessary to support Putin’s invasion of Ukraine,” the U.S. Treasury said.

  • “These individuals and their family members will be cut off from the U.S. financial system, their assets in the United States will be frozen and their property will be blocked from use,” it added.

  • “The Department of Treasury will share financial intelligence and other evidence where appropriate with the Department of Justice to support criminal prosecutions and seizure of assets,” it added.

The big picture: On top of financial sanctions against Russian elites, several other countries are also either drafting plans to seize property owned by Russian oligarchs linked to Putin or have already started.

  • France Thursday seized a 280-foot yacht owned by Igor Sechin, CEO of Russia’s massive state oil and gas company and a longtime close ally and adviser of Putin’s.

  • The Department of State also announced visa restrictions against 19 oligarchs and 47 of their family members and close associates.

  • “These oligarchs are known to direct, authorize, fund, significantly support, or carry out malign activities in support of Russia’s destabilizing foreign policy,” the State Department said.

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