On Friday, the US Treasury imposed a set of tough new measures against Moscow, which it accuses of "a range of malign activity around the globe", including the alleged instigation of violence in eastern Ukraine and support for Syrian President Bashar Assad.
The US Department of Treasury has released an update to the sanctions against Russia, with seven Russian tycoons, 12 major companies and 17 government officials added to the Specially Designated Nationals And Blocked Persons List (SDN List).
The state-owned Russian weapons trading company, Rosoboronexport and Russian Financial Corporation Bank were also targeted under new sanctions.
Above all else, Russia's attempts to subvert Western democracy prompted the US sanctions, officials said, in a direct nod to concerns that the USA president has failed to challenge Putin for alleged interference in the 2016 election that brought Trump to power.
In parallel, and to Trump's fury, former Federal Bureau of Investigation chief Robert Mueller has been empowered as a special prosecutor to investigate possible collusion between the president's campaign and Russian Federation. In 2003, Shamalov married Putin's daughter. Any assets they hold in areas under U.S. jurisdiction could now be frozen.
"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.
Twelve companies owned by the oligarchs, the state arms exporter and a bank are also sanctioned.
It was not clear whether any of those hit have significant holdings in the USA that could be seized, and if they did previously, they may have already moved their money elsewhere in anticipation of the sanctions.
The president had long disputed the idea that Russia's alleged cyber-espionage and propaganda efforts sped him to victory in the election, seeking better relations with Putin.
"Today's sanctions are basically an addition to the SDN List which means that United States entities are prohibited from any dealings with these persons & companies", BCS Global Markets chief economist Vladimir Tikhomirov commented on April 6, adding that in practice sanctioned entities will not be able to use U.S. dollar accounts, make transfers in USA dollars, or enter into any contracts with USA firms.
But Friday's announcement also came as Washington and its allies face a new diplomatic crisis with the Kremlin over the attempted poisoning of a former Russian double agent on British soil.
Mnunchin claimed that Russian oligarchs and elites profited from this "corrupt system" and could no longer be protected despite their government's activities.
"The Russian government operates for the disproportionate benefit of oligarchs and government elites", US Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said in a statement on April 6.
The Russian embassy in the United States responded: "Washington has delivered yet another blow to U.S".
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