U.S. Expand Sanctions List Against Russia

U.S. Expand Sanctions List Against Russia

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The day before the U.S. expanded the sanctions list against several dozens of Russian citizens and organizations. As reported by TASS, the restrictions were imposed for “attempts to evade sanctions” that had been introduced earlier, said the U.S. Treasury Department.

The “black list” includes, as specified in the U.S. Treasury document, Transcapitalbank along with ‘a global network” of more than 40 individuals and various organizations, which, according to the U.S. authorities, is managed by Konstantin Malofeev. The official document also specifies that the main purpose of these organizations is precisely to “circumvent sanctions.”

In this case, as noted in the U.S. Treasury, transactions of Transcapitalbank and all its subsidiaries must be completed by May 20 this year. An exception was made only for transactions to or from Afghanistan. Transcapitalbank will be able to conduct banking operations until October 20, 2022. In addition, the largest data center operator in Eurasia, Bitriver, as well as 10 of its subsidiaries operating in Russia, are under sanctions.

The “black list” includes 16 individuals who, according to the U.S. administration, are related to Otkritie Bank. The restrictions are imposed on, first of all, First Deputy Chairman of the Central Bank of Russia Ksenia Yudaeva, Deputy Chairman of the Central Bank Mikhail Alexeyev, member of the Board of Directors of the Bank of Russia Alexey Simanovsky, head of Otkritie Bank Mikhail Zadornov, Deputy President and Chairman of the Board of Otkritie Bank Nadia Cherkasova, and founder and owner of IBS Group Anatoly Karachinsky. The sanctions also affected a New Zealand citizen, former Sberbank CIB CFO Paul Goldfinch, who had been a member of the supervisory board of Otkritie Bank.

The U.S. sanctions are now also applicable to Tatiana Nesterenko, former First Deputy Minister of Finance of the Russian Federation and Deputy President and Chairman of the Board of Otkrytie Bank. The restrictions also apply to Otkritie Bank board member Sergey Rusanov, former UBS Russia CEO Elena Titova, Svetlana Emelyanova, Andrei Golikov, Vladimir Kolychev, Irina Kremleva, Dmitry Levin, and Viktor Nikolaev.

As known, earlier Otkritie Bank was disconnected from the SWIFT international payment system.

The day before, the U.S. Treasury Department also expanded visa restrictions, which affected dozens of both individuals and legal entities. According to the U.S. administration, all of them were involved, as TASS specifies, in attempts to dodge the sanctions, imposed by European countries against Russia. In particular, the document stresses that the visa restrictions will affect 635 Russian citizens who, according to the U.S., are related to the “crackdown on suppression of dissent” in Russia and abroad, as well as are involved in activities that threaten the territorial integrity of Ukraine.

The Russian citizens on the list, according to Washington, are also related to violations of the rights of those who, as specified in the official document of the U.S. Treasury, are in prisons and other detention facilities in the Russian-controlled territory of Donbas.

The agency also reported visa restrictions on “three Russian officials” involved in human rights violations. In addition, as TASS specifies, these restrictions apply to 17 other individuals who, according to Washington, are responsible for “undermining democracy in Belarus.”

Later, U.S. Secretary of State Anthony Blinken announced that sanctions were being also imposed on 587 Russian citizens, including, according to the U.S. administration, “deputies of the State Duma” who are involved in the crackdown on the independent media. Blinken specified that the “three officials” mentioned in the document were Khusein Khutayev, head of the traffic police of the Kurchaloyevsky district of the Interior Ministry of the Chechen Republic, Dzhabrail Akhmanov, prosecutor of the Chechen town of Argun, and Nurid Salamov, investigator of the Kurchaloyevsky police department. As the document specifies, citizens of the Chechen Republic were “blacklisted” earlier. However, it should be noted that the Department of State does not provide a list of names of the persons subject to visa restrictions.

Meanwhile, it is known that earlier, the U.S. imposed sanctions on some Russian banks. Now, the financial institutions that fell under the restrictions, as reported by RBC, have abandoned the idea of issuing bank cards of the Chinese payment system UnionPay due to the fact that its representatives are afraid of cooperation with Russian banks because of the possibility of secondary sanctions against itself. Some Russian banks have previously announced or even started to issue such bank cards and are now forced to abandon these projects. Sberbank will not issue such cards either. However, according to the media, Russians should not be particularly worried about this, because most Russian citizens would have to use such cards for a very limited time when going abroad on vacation. Meanwhile, while vacationing in Egypt, Turkey and other countries, Russians can pay in cash.

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