On Thursday, the United States and Britain imposed new sanctions on Russia’s ultra-rich and others close to President Vladimir Putin, to increase pressure on the Kremlin over its military attack on Ukraine.
“We want you to feel the pressure, so that the people around you can feel the pressure!” White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki described the Biden administration’s new strategy this way: attacking the innermost circle of Russian President Vladimir Putin.
On Thursday, the United States announced additional sanctions targeting those close to the Russian leader, while the State Department issued a decree banning entry to 19 Russian oligarchs, as well as their relatives and associates.
“What we’re talking about here is taking over their assets, taking over their yachts, making it difficult for them to send their children to colleges and universities in the West,” Psaki added, explaining that eight emperors and officials are on the list.
Britain, in turn, imposed sanctions on two Russian oligarchs whom it sees as linked to the Kremlin and who have amassed wealth and political influence through their ties to Putin.
The series of Western sanctions has already had an impact on the Russian economy: the ruble has fallen sharply and inflation is rising. Meanwhile, the withdrawal of foreign companies portends a worsening of the situation. However, the ultimate goal of stopping the attack on Ukraine was not achieved.
The long (and growing) list of sanctioned oligarchs
In the US list, as in the UK, appears Russian billionaire Alisher Usmanov, one of the richest people in that country and press secretary of Vladimir Putin, whom they referred to as his “figure president”.
Usmanov, the founder of the mining company Metalloinvest, will not be able to use his property in the United States, including his luxury yacht, which was seized by Germany according to the White House, nor his private plane.
Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov, who was accused by the White House of being a “main financier of Putin’s propaganda”, was also sanctioned, as was Nikolai Tokarev, CEO of the energy giant Transneft.
Billionaire brothers Boris and Arkady Rotenberg and several relatives were also included in the sentence, as well as Igor Shuvalov, a Russian politician and former deputy prime minister of Putin who heads the State Development Corporation.
And Yevgeny Prigozhin had already imposed the sanctions he had renewed after alleged attempts to interfere in the US election. The Treasury described him as the Russian financier of the Internet Research Agency (IRA).
The main difference between European and American sanctions is that the latter also affect the families of the oligarchs, because Washington wants to prevent as much as possible from these elites transferring their wealth to others.
With Reuters and EFE