US Announces More Sanctions on Russian Elites

The U.S. government said Thursday that it was trying to shut down sanction evasion measures used by Russia’s elites, including President Vladimir Putin, “to attempt to hide and move money and anonymously make use of luxury assets around the globe.”

The targets include a yacht brokerage, aircraft, Russian officials and others close to Putin.

Targeted yachts include the Russia-flagged Graceful and the Cayman Islands-flagged Olympia, as well as two other yachts, the Shellest and the Nega, both owned by Russian companies.

The White House said the new sanctions were imposed “to crack down on evasion and tighten our sanctions to enhance enforcement and increase pressure on Putin and his enablers.”

In a statement announcing the sanctions, U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken said, “The United States will continue to support the people of Ukraine while promoting accountability for President Putin and those enabling Russian aggression.”

The U.S. government said Putin had “taken numerous trips” on the now-sanctioned yachts as recently as last year.

“Russia’s elites, up to and including President Putin, rely on complex support networks to hide, move and maintain their wealth and luxury assets,” said Brian Nelson, undersecretary of the Treasury for terrorism and financial intelligence.

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

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