The sanctions, issued by the Treasury and State Departments, target the luxury assets of several prominent Russian elites — including many of Putin’s associates yachts and planes — and “asset management and luxury services firms” working to evade US sanctions, according to a White House statement. The Commerce Department has also issued new sanctions that restrict Russia’s ability to secure military technologies.
The sanctions target several prominent Russian elites and government officials, including Russian businessman God Nisanov, described by Foreign Minister Anthony Blinken as “one of the richest men in Europe and a close partner of many Russian officials” and Russian Foreign Ministry spokesman Maria Zakharova. .
The White House said in a statement that the latest sanctions are aimed at “suppressing evasion and toughening our sanctions to strengthen enforcement and increase pressure on Putin and his backers.”
“President Putin’s war against Ukraine is also an attack on the principles of sovereignty and territorial integrity enshrined in the Charter of the United Nations. Ukraine is fighting valiantly to defend its people and its independence with the unprecedented assistance of the United States and countries of the world. The United States will continue to support the people of Ukraine while strengthening the accountability of President Putin and those who enable Russian aggression.”
The Treasury Department’s Office of Foreign Assets Control identified the yachts, “the Russian-flagged Olympia and the Cayman Islands-flagged Olympia,” as a “prohibited property in which President Vladimir Putin has an interest.”
According to the Treasury, Putin has made “multiple trips” on yachts as recently as last year. It also identified several management companies and other owners associated with yachts, as well as other yacht brokerage firms associated with Putin.
Sanctions also target two other yachts, Shellest and Nega, both of which are owned by Russian companies.
“Dirty periodically travels to the coast where President Putin’s infamous palace on the Black Sea is located, and President Putin uses a nega to travel in northern Russia,” the Treasury said.
Thursday’s sanctions also target Putin’s “close friend”, Sergei Pavlovich Roldugin, who, according to the Treasury Department, is “the godfather of one of Putin’s daughters,” as well as Roldugin’s wife, Elena Yuryevna Mertova. Roldugin is the artistic director of the House of Music in Saint Petersburg and Mertova is a soprano opera singer.
The administration also imposed sanctions on a string of yachts and other aircraft belonging to Putin’s associates.
Five additional Russian government officials have been placed on the Treasury Department’s sanctions list, including Yuri Slyusar, President of the State-owned Russian Aircraft Corporation, Vitaly Savelyev, Minister of Transport, Maxim Rishtnikov, Minister of Economic Development, Eric Envarovich Vezulin, Minister of Construction, Housing and Utilities, and Dmitry Yuryevich Grigorenko, Deputy Prime Minister.
The State Department imposed sanctions on six additional officials or entities, including Allah Nisanov, who according to the State Department is a “real estate investor and one of the richest people in Europe.” Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova is also among those sanctioned. Severgroup, a “billion-dollar Russian investment company with holdings and subsidiaries in mining, engineering, mining, tourism, banking, technology, media and finance, among other sectors,” along with its leader Alexei Mordashov and three members of his family.
Sanctions after missile announcement
In April, Biden announced “major war crimes” in Ukraine after the White House announced new sanctions on Russia’s largest financial institutions and the number of individuals linked to the Kremlin, including the two adult daughters of Russian President Vladimir Putin. Biden cited horrific images coming from the Ukrainian city of Bucha, which has been occupied by Russian forces, and said the United States would continue to increase pressure on Putin and isolate Russia from the rest of the world.
Since the unprovoked Russian invasion of Ukraine began in February, the United States and its allies have taken a wide range of measures aimed at punishing Moscow.
The United States and several other countries have banned Russian aircraft from American airspace and expelled some Russian banks from SWIFT, a tight security network that links thousands of financial institutions around the world. The United States has banned US dollar transactions with the Russian Central Bank and completely banned the Russian Direct Investment Fund, imposed export bans on technology as well as imposed sanctions on Russian banks, billionaires and their families close to the Kremlin.
Biden has been consulting closely with other world leaders and trying to show unity among the Western allies with a coordinated response. In March, the US president traveled to Europe to meet world leaders in person and attend an emergency NATO summit to discuss the Russian invasion.
This story has been updated with additional information.
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