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US Treasury: Russian businessmen Deripaska, Vekselberg have their Cyprus accounts frozen

According to the US Treasury, due to the sanctions, the fortune of Deripaska decreased by half

WASHINGTON, August 21. /TASS/. The bank accounts of Russian businessmen Oleg Deripaska and Viktor Vekselberg in Cyprus have been frozen after the US Treasury put them on the sanctions list. This is according to the testimony by Sigal Mandelker, Under Secretary of the US Treasury. She made this report for the hearings at the Senate Committee of the US Congress.

Following April 6 oligarch designations, Oleg Deripaska and Viktor Vekselberg both have their accounts frozen," she said in her testimony.

According to the US Treasury, as a result of sanctions, the fortune of Deripaska decreased by half (Forbes estimated it at $6.7 bln in 2018). The fortune of Vekselberg shrank from $16.4 bln as of April 5 to $14.4 bln as of July 26.

According to the document, over the past year and a half, the US authorities "have pressed Cypriot officials to harden its financial system against large volume of suspicious Russian funds and investments."

Although Cyprus remains a jurisdiction that raises the US concerns in terms of money laundering, some progress has already been achieved there, Mandelker stresses. For example, "in May 2018, the Cyprus authorities issued a circular instructing its banks to address certain illicit finance risks from shell companies," the document said.

On April 6, the US authorities announced sanctions against a number of Russian officials, businessmen and companies. Among them were Oleg Deripaska and associated companies Rusal, Basic Element holdings, En+ and Russian Machines, Eurosibenergo, GAZ Group, B-Finance investment company and Kuban agro holding. Being included in the sanctions list means frozen assets in the US and ban on American citizens preventing them from doing any business with these companies.