Skripal's case: United States introduces bill on sanctions against Russian Federation

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Washington on Friday imposed new sanctions on seven oligarchs accused of supporting and profiting from what it said were Russian President Vladimir Putin's efforts to undermine Western democracies.

The U.S. Treasury Department imposed sanctions on 15 of the largest Russian businesses, as well as 24 Russian officials and individual business leaders.

Russian state arms exporter Rosoboronexport, one of the companies targeted, said the sanctions were created to force Russia out of the global arms market.

The measures announced by the Treasury Department on Friday were also aimed at 17 senior Russian government officials and the state-owned Russian weapons trading company, Rosoboronexport, which has long-standing ties to Syria and its subsidiary, Russian Financial Corporation Bank.

On the London Stock Exchange, global depositary receipts of En+, an energy company majority-owned by Deripaska, dropped by 19 percent on news of the sanctions.

But the Russian Foreign Ministry insisted in its statement that "no amount of pressure will make Russia deviate from the path it has chosen". And last month, the USA targeted 19 Russians and five Russian entities with sanctions in the first use of the new sanctions powers Congress passed a year ago in response to the election meddling. Assets of those targeted in the United States have been blocked, and all USA -based entities are forbidden from doing business with them.

"The Russian government operates for the disproportionate benefit of oligarchs and government elites", Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin said in a statement.

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The seizure of Russian diplomatic facilities in the USA has demonstrated that "the right to private property, once sacred for Americans, has become an empty phrase", the ministry said.

Following the alleged murder attempt of Skripals by nerve agent on British soil, United Kingdom government had expelled 23 diplomats from London which was reciprocated by Russian Foreign Ministry with expulsion of similar number of British diplomats.

Russian lawmaker Konstantin Kosachev, chairman of the worldwide affairs committee of Russia's upper house of parliament, said the sanctions were baseless and unfriendly, Interfax news agency reported.

Among the companies targeted by the United States include GAZ Group, Russia's leading manufacturer of commercial vehicles owned by Deripaska, and Russian Machines and Renova Group, which is comprised of investment funds and management companies operating in the energy sector in Russia. -Russian relations. Now, the sanctions cover heads of Russian business that refuse to play into Washington's scenario.

Konstantin Kosachev, chair of the Council of the Federation Committee on Foreign Affairs who was also named in Friday's sanctions list, called the USA announcement "another unjustified, unfriendly and meaningless step", state-run media RIA-Novosti reported.

"It looks increasingly like [Mueller] is investigating the Russian invasion of the United States political system and not collusion", Starr said.

There was no immediate reaction from Russia's government.

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