US targets Russian oligarchs, elites in fresh sanctions By Reuters

© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: Russian businessman Viktor Vekselberg attends the 50th World Economic Forum (WEF) annual meeting in Davos, Switzerland, January 21, 2020. REUTERS / Denis Balibouse

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The United States on Friday imposed sanctions on more Russian oligarchs, leaders and elites, targeting members of the lower house of parliament and billionaire Viktor Vekselberg, among others, as Washington increases pressure on Russia over its invasion of Ukraine.

Those hit with sanctions on Friday include 10 people comprising VTB Bank’s board, 12 members of the Duma and family members of Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov, the US Treasury Department said in a statement.

The Treasury accused those targeted of having supported Russian President Vladimir Putin’s invasion of Ukraine.

“Treasury continues to hold Russian officials to account for enabling Putin’s unjustified and unprovoked war,” Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen said in the statement.

The sanctions are the latest in a series announced by the United States, including against Putin and Russia’s central bank, after Russian forces invaded Ukraine in the biggest assault on a European state since World War Two. Russia calls the action a “special operation.”

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