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White House: US Imposing New Sanctions on Kremlin Spokesman, 19 Russian 'Oligarchs'

CC0 / / White House Washington US
White House Washington US  - Sputnik International, 1920, 03.03.2022
During his Tuesday State of the Union address, US President Joe Biden warned Russian oligarchs that the US Department of Justice was assembling a task force targeting "crimes" perpetuated by wealthy individuals in support of Russian President Vladimir Putin's recent military action in Ukraine.
The White House announced in a Thursday memo that the US, in coordination with European allies, has moved to sanction eight wealthy Russians, as well as members of their families, and impose visa restrictions on 19 other Russian nationals.

"The United States and governments all over the world will work to identify and freeze the assets Russian elites and their family members hold in our respective jurisdictions – their yachts, luxury apartments, money, and other ill-gotten gains", the memo read.

Full blocking sanctions, which prohibit the use of US-based property and block Americans from operating said property, were extended to individuals believed to "enable" Russian President Vladimir Putin, according to the memo.
Those named include Kremlin press secretary Dmitry Peskov; Nikolai Tokarev, wife Galina, daughter Mayya, and two luxury real estate companies; Boris Rotenberg, wife Karina, and sons Roman and Boris; Arkady Rotenberg, sons Pavel and Igor, and daughter Liliya; Sergei Chemezov, wife Yekaterina, son Stanislav, and stepdaughter Anastasiya; Igor Shuvalov, his five companies, wife Olga, son Evgeny and his company (as well as a jet), and daughter Maria and her company; Yevgeniy Prigozhin, his three companies, wife Polina, daughter Lyubov, and son Pavel; and Alisher Usmanov, as well as his private jet and superyacht, which has been detained by German authorities and is "one of the world's largest" such vessels.
These penalties and seizures of "ill-gotten gains" come days after the US president touted the sanctions-related economic troubles of Russia, declaring that Washington was in the process of a coordinated campaign to choke Russia's access to technology, thus weakening the country's military and its economy.

"We are joining with our European allies to find and seize your yachts your luxury apartments your private jets", he announced shortly after Washington moved to block Russian flights from US airspace. "We are coming for your ill-begotten gains".

The logo of Russia's flagship airline Aeroflot is seen on an Airbus A320-200 in Colomiers near Toulouse, France, September 26, 2017 - Sputnik International, 1920, 02.03.2022
Biden: US Will Close American Airspace to All Russian Flights, Aircraft
An additional 19 Russian oligarchs, and 47 of their family members or close associates, have been slapped with new visa restrictions imposed by the US Department of State. Their names were not provided in the readout.

US Citizen Arrested in London Over Alleged Violation of 2014 Sanctions Against Konstantin Malofeyev

US prosecutors also announced on Thursday that John "Jack" Hanick, a 71-year-old American citizen, has been charged with violating US sanctions and making false statements regarding "his year-long work for the sanctioned Russian oligarch Konstantin Malofeyev".
Hanick was provisionally arrested in London on 3 February, although the announcement comes exactly one month after his detention. The US national is due to be extradited back to the states.
US sanctions against Malofeyev were imposed in December 2014, and prohibited US citizens from working for, or doing business with, him. American prosecutors allege that Hanick violated the restrictions by "working directly with Malofeyev on multiple television projects" that span several years.

"Russian oligarch Konstantin Malofeyev was previously sanctioned for threatening Ukraine and providing financial support to the Donetsk separatist region", said Assistant Attorney General Matthew Olsen in a statement.

The accusations against Hanick notably amount to the first US criminal indictment in association with the 2014-era sanctions.
"The defendant Hanick knowingly chose to help Malofeyev spread his destabilising messages by establishing, or attempting to establish, TV networks in Russia, Bulgaria, and Greece, in violation of those sanctions", Olsen added.
The seal of the United States Department of Justice is seen on the building exterior of the United States Attorney's Office of the Southern District of New York in Manhattan, New York City, U.S., August 17, 2020. - Sputnik International, 1920, 03.03.2022
US Charges TV Producer John Hanick With Violations of Crimea Sanctions - Justice Dept.
If convicted of violating US sanctions and making false statements, the 71-year-old US national will face a cumulative maximum penalty of 25 years behind bars, with the sanctions charge accounting for 20 years.
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