US puts sanctions on key sectors of Russian economy, top officials, businessmen

US President Barack Obama has announced a new executive order imposing further sanctions on key sectors of the Russian economy and top Russian officials and businessmen. The measures will impact Russian energy, mining, defense and engineering sectors.

We’re imposing sanctions on more senior officials of the Russian government. In addition, we are today sanctioning a number of other individuals with substantial resources and influence who provide material support to the Russian leadership, as well as a bank that provides material support to these individuals,” Obama said.

The new list of sanctioned officials includes 20 names, according to the list published by the US Department of Treasury.

Aleksey Gromov, First Deputy Head of the Presidential Administration; Sergey Ivanov, Chief of Staff of the Presidential Executive Office; and Sergey Naryshkin, Speaker of the State Duma, the lower chamber of the Russian Parliament, are among those mentioned.

Prominent businessmen Arkady and Boris Rotenberg are also on the list – as well as the Russian Railways president, Vladimir Yakunin, businessman Gennady Timchenko (head of the Volga Group) and financier, Yury Kovalchuk.

Bank Rossiya identified by the Treasury Department as the sanctioned entity will be “frozen out of the dollar,” Reuters reports quoting US officials. The bank, headquartered in St. Petersburg, has some $10 billion in assets. Several senior government officials are known to use it.

The new penalties mark the second round of economic sanctions the US has levied on Russia this week. Obama noted that the measures were being taken in the full knowledge that the move could be “disruptive to the global economy”.

The US president made the announcement just under two hours after the Russian Duma ratified the Treaty for the Accession of Crimea and city of Sevastopol to the Russian Federation.

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