US is Attacking Prigozhin, Main Enemy of US Politics

US is Attacking Prigozhin, Main Enemy of US Politics


The Republican Party of the US has put forward the initiative to expand the list of sanctions against Russia, Iran and China in connection with the end of the arms embargo on Iran.

This statement was made by the party on June 9. Already on June 13, there was another statement from the Democratic Party of the United States. However, it concerns personally the Russian businessman Yevgeny Prigozhin. Eliot Engel, a member of the Democratic Party of the US, proposed expanding sanctions against him.

This time, new measures against Prigozhin were proposed by representatives of the Democratic Party.

In fact, the list of the US sanctions is a list of legal entities and individuals, interaction with which is prohibited for American companies and citizens. For some companies, this prohibition is significant but in relation to individuals it looks more like a political move.

In December 2016, the US sanctions were imposed on Yevgeny Prigozhin in connection with the war in Eastern Ukraine. After that, his name appeared in the lists twice more. Only one Russian national got so much attention from the American authorities. In 2018, Prigozhin was added to the list as a participant in cyber attacks on the United States. In the fall of 2018, allegedly, after he “interfered in the presidential election,” the sanctions were expanded once again. Along with Prigozhin, US special Prosecutor Robert Mueller charged another twelve Russians then, but all charges were dismissed this year.

Yevgeny Prigozhin's companies, both those belonging to him and those associated with him only according to unverified rumors, were also affected. In June 2017, the sanctions’ list included the firms Concord Catering and Concord Management and Consulting which are managed by him, as well as Internet Research Agency, the Wagner Group and four media outlets – Federal News Agency (FAN), Ekonomika Segodnya, Nevskie Novosti, and USA Really. In 2019, the list was expanded by three companies Autolex Transport Ltd, Beratex Group Limited and Linburg Industries Ltd, three aircraft and a yacht, which the US Ministry of Finance classified as Prigozhin's property.

In general, Yevgeny Prigozhin, as an individual, a manager and an employee of various firms, was blacklisted 14 times in the U.S.

It is fair to say that given the U.S. attention not only to him personally, but also to his companies, Yevgeny Prigozhin is the most “heavily sanctioned” person in Russia although he shares the list with such top entrepreneurs as Viktor Vekselberg, the Rothenberg family, and Oleg Deripaska. There are a total of twelve Russians on the sanctions’ lists who are on the Forbes list as well.

The reasons for blacklisting these people are different. However, it is worth noting that measures continue to be tightened only for Yevgeny Prigozhin. Other businessmen are mentioned in the list of potential “US enemies” only once. In total, there are more than 800 individuals and legal entities operating in various economic sectors and in politics.

Notably, even those Russians who are not included in any lists often suffer from US sanctions. For instance, back in 2014, Russian citizen Nikolai Kuznetsov could not send a personal money transfer to his father. It was a dollar transaction. It turned out that sanctions were imposed on Moskovsky Oblastnoy Bank (Mosoblbank,) the recipient's bank. The transaction was unfrozen only in 2017.

Whatever the U.S. motives, its authorities should not be allowed to affect the world economy and personal lives of foreign citizens with the help of lists of this kind. The Russian government makes every effort to help the individuals and companies that have been affected by the sanctions. So, in May, the State Duma approved a law on transferring of proceedings. At present, the Russian legal entities included in the list of US sanctions can change the agreement with a foreign counterparty on the jurisdiction of the trial and move it to Russia.

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