US slaps new sanctions on Russia targeting officials, oligarchs, Putin yachts

Biden administration imposes sweeping economic penalties on Russian targets

WASHINGTON

The US announced sweeping new sanctions against Russia on Thursday, targeting a broad array of individuals and entities, including four yachts with ties to President Vladimir Putin.

The vessels in which Putin “has an interest” include the Russia-flagged Graceful and Cayman Islands-flagged Olympia, according to the Treasury Department. It said Putin “has taken numerous trips” on the boats, including a Black Sea trip in 2021 in which he hosted Belarusian President Alyaksandr Lukashenko.

Their registered owners, including individuals and financial entities, have also been placed under financial penalties. Two other boats “linked to Putin,” — the Shellest and Nega — were also sanctioned along with their owners.

The coordinated intra-agency actions span a gamut of targets, including Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova and Alexey Mordashov, the leader of private investment firm Severgroup, who is one of Russia’s wealthiest billionaires. The firm is also being added to the US blacklist.

God Nisanov, a real estate investor who is one of the wealthiest individuals in Europe, is being designated for his close ties to Russian officials, as is oligarch Evgeny Novitskiy, according to the State Department.

“Russia’s elites, up to and including President Putin, rely on complex support networks to hide, move, and maintain their wealth and luxury assets,” Brian Nelson, the Treasury Department’s senior official for financial intelligence, said in a statement.

“Today’s action demonstrates that Treasury can and will go after those responsible for shielding and maintaining these ill-gotten interests. We will continue to enforce our sanctions and expose the corrupt systems by which President Putin and his elites enrich themselves,” he added.

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