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US blacklists another 38 Russian individuals and organizations in wake of Ukraine crisis

June 20, 21:25 UTC+3 WASHINGTON

Washington continues to consider Crimea and the federal city of Sevastopol as administrative entities of Ukraine despite the March 2014 referendum

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The US Department of the Treasury

The US Department of the Treasury

© Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

WASHINGTON, June 20. /TASS/. US Department of the Treasury has added another 38 persons and organizations, including two Russian officials and two of their aides to its regularly expanded anti-Russian sanctions list.

"Today’s action is designed to counter attempts to circumvent US sanctions and will maintain alignment of US measures with those of our international partners," the department’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) said in a press release.

"In today’s action, OFAC designated 38 individuals and entities under Ukraine-related authorities, including one entity that has engaged in the evasion of existing sanctions, two Russian government officials and two individuals acting for or on behalf of a government official, two entities that are owned or controlled by an individual previously designated, and 11 individuals and entities […] that operate in the Republic of Crimea".

Washington continues to consider Crimea and the federal city of Sevastopol as administrative entities of Ukraine despite the March 2014 referendum, in which the absolute majority of people living there voted for reunification with Russia.

The newly published blacklist features, among others, Alexander Babakov, the Russian President’s special representative for cooperation with the associations of fellow-Russians living abroad, and two of his assistants - Alexander Vorobev (most probably a misspelt version of the Russian surname ‘Vorobyov’) and Mikhail Plisyuk.

It also features Russian Deputy Minister of Economics, Sergei Nazarov, who has fallen into the realm of the US sanctions " […] for materially assisting, sponsoring, or providing financial, material, or technological support for, or goods and services in support of, the (self-proclaimed, unrecognized Donetsk People’s Republic and Lugansk People’s republic".

The Department of the Treasury claims Nazarov "is the chairman of the Interagency Commission for Humanitarian Assistance in the Donbass Republics [the "Interagency Commission"], which is nominally dedicated to providing humanitarian assistance to the Donetsk and Luhansk regions but in actuality also oversees projects in the transportation, trade, energy, tax, and financial sectors."

In a most offbeat turn of the situation, the Department of the Treasury has put on its blacklist the Wolf Holding of Security Structures. The latter is described as "an organization owned by the previously designated Night Wolves motorcycle club" that, according to the agency’s claims, provides martial arts and tactical military courses to foreign military, law enforcers and Russian-speaking compatriots from European and Asian countries.

Consequently, Washington has imposed sanctions on the Wolf Holding of Security Structures president, Gennady Nikulov, its chief combat training expert Denis Ryauzov, and the Bike Center, a Moscow-based business entity owned by the Night Wolves leader Alexander Zaldostanov, who himself was blacklisted previously.

The newly expanded sanction simultaneously embrace IFD Kapital, "a diversified holding company with investments in several sectors of the Russian economy" that owns the Riviera Sunrise Resort & Spa hotel compound in Crimea. The latter resort has become a target of the Department of the Treasury’s restrictive motion, too.

The sanctions encompass the Molot-Oruzhiye limited liability partnership that manufactures ordnance and accessories, as well as the Concord Management & Consulting and Concord Catering companies controlled by Yevgeny Prigozhin, a businessman owns several elitist restaurants.

The press release claims these steps are consistent "with the U.S. commitment to seek a diplomatic resolution to the crisis in Ukraine and to facilitate Crimea’s return to Ukraine."

"U.S. sanctions on Russia related to the situation in eastern Ukraine will remain in place until Russia fully honors its obligations under the Minsk Agreements," the Department of the Treasury said.

It also said a yet another time the sanctions related to Crimea will not be lifted until Russia ends what Washington describes as the "occupation of the peninsula".

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