US imposes new sanctions on Russian oligarch, Hungary bank

By AP News

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The Treasury Department has announced new sanctions aimed at Russian oligarch Alisher Usmanov

Russia Ukraine Sanctions

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Treasury Department on Wednesday announced new sanctions aimed at Russian oligarch Alisher Usmanov, targeting the financial network of one of Russia's wealthiest businessmen.

Usmanov, a close ally of Russian President Vladimir Putin, has been subject to U.S. and European Union sanctions since shortly after the Kremlin's invasion of Ukraine last year.

The Treasury Department said the new designations, being coordinated with sanctions announced by the British government, aim to reinforce existing penalties and further disrupt Russia’s importation of critical technologies used in its war against Ukraine. The action by the Treasury's Office of Foreign Assets Control involves 25 individuals and 29 entities in 20 jurisdictions.

“As the Kremlin seeks ways around the expansive multilateral sanctions and export controls imposed on Russia for its war against Ukraine, the United States and our allies and partners will continue to disrupt evasion schemes that support Putin on the battlefield,” Brian Nelson, undersecretary for terrorism and financial intelligence, said in a statement. He said the move shows the U.S. is honoring the commitment by the Group of Seven leading industrial nations "to impose severe costs on third-country actors who support Russia’s war."

Usmanov was an early target of Biden administration sanctions aimed at key Russian sectors and individuals close to Putin.

In addition to the individuals and entities penalized by the Treasury Department, the State Department designated 80 entities and individuals connected to Usmanov, other Russian billionaires and efforts to evade sanctions.

The Treasury Department was also citing the International Investment Bank, a Russia-controlled financial institution in Budapest, Hungary. Three current or former executives of the bank — Russian citizens Nikolay Nikolayevich Kosov and Georgy Nugzarovich Potapov as well as Hungary national Imre Laszloczki — were designated for sanctions.

A Treasury Department statement said the bank “enables Russia to increase its intelligence presence in Europe, opens the door for the Kremlin’s malign influence activities in Central Europe and the Western Balkans, and could serve as a mechanism for corruption and illicit finance, including sanctions violations.”

Germany had previously seized Usmanov's superyacht, known as Dilbar.

The yacht, named after Usmanov’s mother, has an estimated worth of between $600 million and $735 million, according to the Treasury Department. Dilbar has two helipads and one of the world’s largest indoor pools ever installed on a yacht, and costs about $60 million per year to operate. The oligarch’s private jet, a custom-built 209-foot Airbus A340-300 passenger liner, is believed to have cost between $350 million and $500 million and was previously leased out for use by Uzbekistan’s president.

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Author: AP News

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