President Donald Trump approved sanctions on 38 different Russian companies and entities in response to Russian meddling in the 2016 presidential election, its presence in Ukraine, and support for the Assad regime in Syria.
These entities include 7 Russian oligarchs, 12 companies they own and control, 17 Russian senior government officials, and a state owned Russian weapons trading company, a senior administration official told reporters.
“Russian oligarchs will no longer be insulated from the consequences of their government,” a senior administration official ominously declared. Another administration official told reporters that “the Russian government chose to repeatedly interfere in the democratic process of the United States and our allies” stressing repeatedly that it is the Russian government’s fault that this action is being taken.
The oligarchs include Oleg Deripaska, who the Treasury Department notes “has been investigated for money laundering, and has been accused of threatening the lives of business rivals,” adding “there are also allegations that Deripaska bribed a government official, ordered the murder of a businessman, and had links to a Russian organized crime group.”
Other oligarchs include Viktor Vekselberg, Andrei Skoch, Kirill Shamalov, Igor Rotenberg, Suleiman Kerimov and Vladimir Bogdanov.
“It chose to prop up the Assad regime, a regime that kills little kids with chemical weapons,” a senior administration official stressed. Officials noted that the Trump administration has levied significant sanctions on Russia in recent months.
Trump expelled 60 Russian diplomats and closed the country’s consulate in Seattle recently. The actions are in response to the alleged use of a nerve agent by the Russian government against a Russian dissident living in the United Kingdom, Sergei Skripal.
“When you attack our friends you will face serious consequences,” a senior administration official noted at the time.