U.S. sanctions more Russians, Moscow bans 9 American officials

Windsor Genova – Fourth Estate Cooperative Contributor

Washington, DC, United States (4E) – President Barack Obama announced Thursday that more names and a bank were included in a list to be sanctioned by the U.S. government as punishment for Russia’s takeover of Ukraine’s Crimea region.

Moscow retaliated by banning travel into Russia of six American legislators and three presidential advisers.

Obama did not identify the Russians whose financial assets in the U.S. will be frozen and travel to the U.S. will be disallowed. The U.S. Treasury Department, however, referred to them as 20 individuals, mostly business cronies of Russian President Vladimir Putin, and the Bank Rossiya, which handles financial transactions of many Russian officials. Some of the individuals are Sergei Naryshkin, speaker of the lower house of parliament; Sergei Ivanov, head of the presidential administration; Yuri Kovalchuk and Andrei Fursenko, owners of Bank Rossiya; and Arkady and Boris Rotenberg, contractors of the Sochi Olympics.

On Monday, Obama announced the first batch of sanctioned Russian, Ukrainian and Crimean officials. The 11 officials are Putin aide Vladislav Surkov, presidential adviser Sergei Glazyev, Head of State Duma Committee for CIS Affairs Leonid Slutsky, Head of Federation Council’s Committee for constitutional legislation Andrei Klishas, Federation Council Speaker Valentina Matviyenko, Deputy Prime Minister Dmitry Rogozin, Chair of the Duma committee for family, women and children affairs Yelena Mizulina, Crimean Prime Minister Sergey Aksyonov, Crimean State Council Speaker Vladimir Konstantinov, leader of the Ukrainian Choice public movement Viktor Medvedchuk and Ukrainian president Viktor Yanukovych.

The U.S. sanction also includes banning Americans from transacting business with the blacklisted Russians.

Dollars of Bank Rossiya will be frozen and its correspondent accounts with U.S. banks will be terminated, a senior administration official said.

Meanwhile, the Russian Foreign Ministry said it is banning the travel into Russia of Senate Majority Leader Harry M. Reid (D-Nev.), House Speaker John A. Boehner (R-Ohio), Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.), Sen. Robert Menendez (D-N.J.), Sen. Mary Landrieu (D-La.), Sen. Daniel Coats (R-Ind.), deputy national security adviser for international economic affairs Caroline Atkinson, and presidential aides Daniel Pfeiffer and Benjamin Rhodes.

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