U.S. sanctions Putin’s rumored girlfriend, Russian billionaires

0
5

Aug. 2 (UPI) — The United States is joining Britain and the European Union in sanctioning Russian President Vladimir Putin’s rumored girlfriend, Alina Kabaeva, along with several Russian billionaires with close ties to the president.

The U.S. Department of the Treasury announced the sanctions Tuesday, with separate sanctions announced by the State Department, targeting Kremlin-connected elites and businesses that generate “substantial revenue for the Russian regime” and support Putin’s war in Ukraine.

Advertisement

“As innocent people suffer from Russia’s illegal war of aggression, Putin’s allies have enriched themselves and funded opulent lifestyles,” Secretary of the Treasury Janet Yellen said in a press release.

“The Treasury Department will use every tool at our disposal to make sure that Russian elites and the Kremlin’s enablers are held accountable for their complicity in a war that has cost countless lives,” Yellen said. “Together with our allies, the United States will also continue to choke off revenue and equipment underpinning Russia’s unprovoked war in Ukraine.”

In a statement announcing the sanctions, the Treasury Department said it will block access to all property owned in the United States and will also ban any future transactions in the U.S.

Advertisement

Among those sanctioned, Kabaeva has a “close relationship” with Putin. She is a retired Olympic gymnast and serves as the chair of the pro-Kremlin National Media Group which is reportedly the largest private Russian media company.

The Treasury announced Kabaeva will be blocked from any property she owns in the United States after Britain froze Kabaeva’s assets and issued a travel ban against her in May.

The Treasury also imposed sanctions on Russian billionaire Andrey Grigoryevich Guryev, who is a close associate of Putin and previously served in the Government of the Russian Federation, and his son Andrey Andreevich Guryev.

A.G. Guryev owns the Witanhurst estate, which is London’s second-largest estate after Buckingham Palace. While Britain has already sanctioned Guryev, the U.S. is expected to seize Guryev’s $120 million yacht, the Alfa Nero, in the Cayman Islands.

The U.S. also announced it will sanction Russian billionaire Viktor Rashnikov, and the Russian steel company he owns, MMK, along with two MMK subsidiaries, and Natalya Popova, who is the first deputy director of the Russian technology company Innopraktika.

The Joint Stock Company Promising Industrial and Infrastructure Technologies, in addition to Anton Urusov, who was a senior leader in the company, was also named in the sanctions for helping to transfer assets, a Treasury Department statement said.

Advertisement

The State Department issued its own sanctions Tuesday against Russian billionaires Dmitry Pumpyanskiy, Andrey Melnichenko and Alexander Ponomarenko along with several Russian companies.

The State Department will also restrict visas for 893 Russian Federation officials and 31 foreign government officials who supported Russia’s annexation of the Crimea region of Ukraine.