US targets Putin’s famed girlfriend with new sanctions against Russia

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The US on Tuesday announced a new round of sanctions against Russian companies and elites, including a 39-year-old former Olympic gymnast who is reportedly in romantic relationship with Russian President Vladimir Putin as the war in Ukraine enters its sixth month.

The finance ministry said it is sanctioning Olympic gold medalist Alina Maratovna Kabaeva, a former member of the State Duma and head of a pro-Kremlin media empire, among others. She has a “close relationship with Putin,” Treasury said.

Viktor Filippovich Rashnikov, the owner of one of the world’s largest steel companies that the Treasury Ministry says is a major source of revenue for the Kremlin, is also subject to sanctions, as is Natalya Valeryevna Popova, the deputy director of a Russian technology company. .

“While innocent people suffer from Russia’s illegal war of aggression, Putin’s allies have enriched themselves and financed a lavish lifestyle,” Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen said.

We “will use every means at our disposal to ensure that the Russian elites and the Kremlin instigators are held accountable for their complicity in a war that has cost countless lives,” Yellen added.

“Russia has systematically focused on exploiting high-tech research and innovations to advance Moscow’s warfare — the same defense capabilities that the Russian military uses in its vicious attacks on Ukraine’s population centers and resulting in the death of civilians, including children.” That is what Foreign Minister Antony Blinken said.

Blinken selected three Russian oligarchs: Dmitry Aleksandrovich Pumpyanskiy, Andrey Igorevich Melnichenko and Alexander Anatolevich Ponomarenko.

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs has also issued visa restrictions on 893 officials of the Russian Federation and 31 foreign government officials who have supported Russia’s annexation of Crimea.

Daniel Fried, a former coordinator for US sanctions policy in Barack Obama’s administration, praised US efforts to punish Putin, but said they were not enough. He told The New York Times that a global price cap on the purchase price of Russian oil, which G-7 leaders discussed in June, would be a stronger measure.

“They have to deliver — it’s been a month,” Fried said. “They need something effective to eat off Putin’s income. This package is good, but the need requires even more.”

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