US imposes fresh Russia sanctions

Orient Net 2018-12-20 06:52:00

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The United States imposed fresh Russia-related sanctions on Wednesday (Dec. 19), expanding a blacklist of individuals allegedly involved in a Kremlin-backed campaign to meddle with the 2016 US presidential election, among other misdeeds, Reuters reported.

The US Treasury Department twinned that development with an announcement that it would lift sanctions on major aluminum company Rusal and two other firms tied to Oleg Deripaska after a deal was struck to sever the Russian oligarch’s control over them.

Deripaska himself will remain under sanctions, Treasury said.

The fresh sanctions targeted 15 members of a Russian military intelligence service and four entities involved in the alleged election interference, the hacking of the World Anti-Doping Agency and other “malign activities” around the world, the Treasury said in a statement on its website.

The action, which followed sanctions in April on Deripaska and six other oligarchs, were “in response to Russia’s continued disregard for international norms,” the statement from Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) said.

The move also comes on the heels of US President Donald Trump’s signing of an executive order in September to impose sanctions on any country or person that tries to interfere in US elections. Trump issued the order amid criticism over his handling of Russian election meddling.

The sanctioned individuals include several intelligence officers who were allegedly engaged in the hacking of Democratic Party officials and in campaigns to sow discord over social media with the aim of disrupting US elections.

The Treasury sanctioned several individuals for their alleged roles in the hacking of the World Anti-Doping Agency, the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW), and other organizations between 2016 and 2018.

It also sanctioned two Russian intelligence officers, Alexander Petrov and Ruslan Boshirov, for their alleged role in the poisoning of former Russian spy Sergei Skripal and his daughter in Salisbury in March.