Alina Kabaeva: US sanctions against Putin’s well-known girlfriend

Alina Maratovna Kabaeva, who has a romantic relationship with the Russian leader, was sanctioned “for being or was a leader, official, senior executive officer or member of the board of directors of the government of the Russian Federation,” according to a ministry of Finance. statement said.

That statement describes 39-year-old Kabaeva as someone who “has a close relationship with Putin”. She is a former member of the State Duma “and is the current head of the National Media Group, a pro-Kremlin empire of television, radio and print organizations.”

In April, the Wall Street Journal reported that the US is considering sanctions against Kabaeva, but fears such a move would flare up tensions given her proximity to Putin.

Kabaeva was previously sanctioned by the European Union and the United Kingdom.

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In addition to Kabaeva, the Ministry of Finance announced sanctions against a number of other oligarchs, a major steel production company and two of its subsidiaries, as well as a financial institution accused of evading sanctions and its chief executive.

Separately, US Secretary of State Antony Blinken announced sanctions against three oligarchs, a Russian state-owned company overseen by the Ministry of Transportation, “four persons and one entity illegally operating on the territory of Ukraine in conjunction with Russia”, and 24 Russian defense and technology companies. -related entities.

The US also imposes visa restrictions on 893 officials of the Russian Federation and “31 foreign government officials who acted in support of Russia’s alleged annexation of the Crimean region of Ukraine and thereby threatened or violated Ukraine’s sovereignty,” Blinken said. .

Many of the appointments announced by the US target oligarchs previously sanctioned by allies such as the UK, Australia, Canada and the European Union. They will come as the war in Ukraine enters its sixth month.

‘Lush lifestyle’

“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 in a statement. “The Treasury Ministry will use all means at our disposal to ensure that the Russian elites and the Kremlin’s instigators are held accountable for their complicity in a war that has cost countless lives.”

The oligarchs sanctioned by the State Department on Tuesday include Andrey Igorevich Melnichenko, Alexander Anatolevich Ponomarenko and Dmitry Aleksandrovich Pumpyanskiy. The yacht AXIOMA was identified as blocked property in which Pumpyanskiy has a stake, the State Department said in a fact sheet.

According to that fact sheet, Ponomarenko is “an oligarch with close ties to other oligarchs and the construction of Vladimir Putin’s seaside palace,” which was previously sanctioned by the UK, the EU, Canada, Australia and New Zealand.

Among the oligarchs sanctioned by the Ministry of Finance on Tuesday is Andrey Grigoryevich Guryev, the Russian billionaire founder of the chemical company “PhosAgro” and a former government official described by the Ministry of Finance as “a known close associate” of Putin. . He is also sanctioned by the UK, and according to the US Treasury Department, he “owns the Witanhurst estate, the second largest estate in London after Buckingham Palace.”

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The Ministry of Finance on Tuesday identified the yacht Alfa Nero, allegedly owned by AG Guryev, as blocked property.

AG Guryev’s son Andrey Andreevich Guryev was also sanctioned by the US on Tuesday, having previously been sanctioned by Australia, Canada, the European Union, Switzerland and the UK, as was his investment company Dzhi AI Invest OOO.

Natalya Valeryevna Popova was sanctioned “for operating or having exercised in the technology sector of the economy of the Russian Federation, and for being or having been a leader, official, senior executive officer or member of the board of directors of LLC VEB Ventures which is a sanctioned entity. She was also sanctioned for being the wife of Kirill Aleksandrovich Dmitriev, the CEO of the Russian Direct Investment Fund (RDIF). Both he and the RDIF were sanctioned in the days following the start of the war.

The Joint Stock Company Promising Industrial and Infrastructure Technologies, “a financial institution owned by the Russian Federal Agency for State Property Management,” and its managing director Anton Sergeevich Urusov were sanctioned on Tuesday over alleged sanctions evasion.

According to the Ministry of Finance, “JSC PPIT has attempted to circumvent the sanctions imposed on the Russian Direct Investment Fund (RDIF).”

The Ministry of Finance has sanctioned Publichnoe Aktsionernoe Obschestvo Magnitogorskiy Metallurgicheskiy Kombinat (MMK), described as “one of the world’s largest steel producers”, the chairman of the board Viktor Filippovich Rashnikov – who has also been sanctioned by Australia, Canada, the EU , Switzerland and the UK — and two of MMK’s subsidiaries.

MMK is one of Russia’s largest taxpayers and a substantial source of revenue for the government of the Russian Federation, the Ministry of Finance said. The agency has approved a winding-down period for transactions with MMK and one of its subsidiaries.

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