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U.S. Strike on Putin’s Inner Circle with Sanctions
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The US and the European Union say that Russia has not lived up to an accord that was signed on April 17 in Geneva, and according to Bloomberg News, intended to defuse the confrontation between the Ukrainian government and pro-Russian separatists. The U.S. warned it is prepared to levy additional penalties to hit the broader Russian economy if President Vladimir Putin escalates by sending troops into Ukraine.

President Barack Obama reported from a news conference in the Philippines that, “The goal here is not to go after Mr. Putin, personally.” The President said that according to Bloomberg News that, “The goal is to change his calculus with respect to how the current actions that he’s engaging in in Ukraine could have an adverse impact on the Russian economy over the long haul.” The White House announced it was adding seven prominent Russians to a blacklist subject to visa bans and asset freezes, according to The Guardian. The U.S. is targeting President Vladimir Putin’s inner circle with these new sanctions.

  
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U.S. companies are prohibited from doing business with the individuals and entities on the sanctions list, and all assets of those designated that are within the U.S. jurisdiction must be frozen, according to the U.S. Treasury. The new sanctions list includes Oleg Belavantsev, Putin’s presidential envoy to Crimea; Dmitry Kozak, deputy prime minister of the Russian Federation, and Evgeniy Murov, director of Russia’s Federal Protective Service and an army general. It has been reported that, most of the companies on the sanctions list are tied to Gennady Timchenko or brothers Arkady and Boris Rotenberg, who were placed on a sanctions list on March 20. These are sanctions that strike directly at the Russian economy.

The principal target of Monday’s sanctions was Rosneft. According to The Guardian, Rosneft has deep ties with American-based counterparts, particularly ExxonMobil. Deputy foreign minister Sergei Ryabkov told the Interfax news agency that in regards to reprisal measures for the American sanctions package, “We are certain that this response will have a painful effect on Washington.”

Image Credit: www.bloomberg.com

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