Friday, May 27

New US sanctions target Russian bank, oligarchs, crypto miner BitRiver

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WASHINGTON — The United States on Wednesday imposed sanctions on dozens of people and entities, including a Russian commercial bank and a virtual currency mining company, hoping to target Moscow’s evasion of existing sanctions over Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

The US Treasury Department in a statement said it put sanctions on Russian commercial bank Transkapitalbank, whose representatives it said serve several banks in Asia, including in China, and the Middle East, and have suggested options to evade international sanctions.

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Washington also targeted a global network of more than 40 people and entities led by US-designated Russian oligarch Konstantin Malofeyev, including organizations “whose primary mission is to facilitate sanctions evasion for Russian entities.”

The Treasury Department also imposed sanctions on companies operating in Russia’s virtual currency mining industry, reportedly the third largest in the world. It targeted the holding company of Bitcoin miner BitRiver and 10 of its Russia-based subsidiaries, warning that the United States was committed to ensuring that no asset becomes a mechanism for Russian President Vladimir Putin to offset the impact of sanctions.

“Treasury can and will target those who evade, attempt to evade, or aid the evasion of US sanctions against Russia, as they are helping support Putin’s brutal war of choice,” the Treasury Department’s under secretary for terrorism and financial intelligence, Brian Nelson, said in the statement.

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“The United States will work to ensure that the sanctions we have imposed, in close coordination with our international partners, degrade the Kremlin’s ability to project power and fund its invasion.”

The Russian Embassy in Washington did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

The United States has imposed several rounds of sanctions on Moscow since its Feb. 24 invasion of Ukraine, including targeting the country’s largest lenders and Putin himself.

(Reporting by Daphne Psaledakis, Chris Gallagher, Doina Chiacu, David Brunnstrom, Andrea Shalal and Alexandra Alper; Editing and Heather Timmons and Alistair Bell)