image image

United States

Trump administration ‘will put sanctions on Russian tycoons soon’ in response to pressure from Congress

The Trump administration will impose sanctions on Russian tycoons as early as this week, according to US government officials

PUBLISHED : Thursday, 05 April, 2018, 11:21pm
UPDATED : Friday, 06 April, 2018, 12:02am

The Trump administration will impose sanctions on Russian tycoons as early as this week in retaliation for Moscow meddling in the 2016 presidential election, according to US government officials.

The administration is trying to satisfy pressure from Congress to act on a sanctions law passed last summer that called for reprisals for the interference. 

Three officials, who spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorised to publicly discuss the actions ahead of the announcement, which is expected early Friday, said Thursday that the Treasury Department would institute the sanctions under the Countering America’s Adversaries Through Sanctions Act, which was overwhelmingly passed by Congress in 2017 and signed into law by US President Donald Trump despite some objections.

The law aims to punish Russia for interfering in the US election as well as actions intended to subvert democracy in Europe.

Plans call for targeting six to 10 so-called Russian oligarchs, though no firm decision has been made on the number, one official said.

The US in January identified 210 wealthy Russians, top officials and business leaders for a list required under the law. The targets for the sanctions will be taken from a classified annexe to the report, the official said.

Russia tests missiles in Baltic Sea a day after Baltic leaders meet Trump

Democrats in Congress have publicly criticised Trump for being slow to act on the sanctions law.

The sanctions will freeze any assets that those targeted have in US jurisdictions and bar Americans from doing business with them.

The State Department declined to comment.

Asked about the planned sanctions, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov told reporters on Thursday: “The phrase ‘Russian oligarchs’ is considered inappropriate. The time when there were oligarchs in Russia passed long ago, there are no oligarchs in Russia.”