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US to impose sanctions against at least half-dozen Russian oligarchs — media

According to the Washington Post, the sanctions are economic and designed to target oligarchs with ties to President Vladimir Putin

WASHINGTON, April 5. /TASS/. Donald Trump’s administration is expected to slap fresh sanctions on a number of Russians included in the so-called Kremlin List released by the Treasury Department in late January, the Washington Post wrote citing US officials.

"The sanctions are economic and designed to target oligarchs with ties to President Vladimir Putin, the officials said," according to the paper. "The final number of Russians facing punitive action remains fluid, the US officials said, but is expected to include at least a half-dozen people under sanction powers given to the president by Congress."

The Trump administration continues to face pressure in Congress "from Russia hawks in both parties to take aggressive action against Putin," the paper wrote.

Sen. Lindsey O. Graham (R-S.C.) said in an interview the United States needed to help countries that rely on Russia for oil and gas find new opportunities. "We have to hit them by taking away their customers," he said.

The US Treasury Department published on January 29 the unclassified portion of the "Kremlin List" that includes all members of the Russian government and Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev, leadership of the presidential administration and heads of state corporations and banks, and also businessmen with a net worth of $1 billion or more.

The list, which has 210 names, is divided into several sections - the presidential administration, the cabinet of ministers, as well as "political leaders" and "oligarchs." It also has a classified annex with "additional information." The persons on this list "may hold a position below those included in the unclassified report or have a net worth below $1 billion."

This is not a sanctions list and no restrictions are slapped on those mentioned in the document, the Treasury Department stressed. This move creates no obstacles for business contacts with US citizens if these individuals are not subject to sanctions.

According to Russian Presidential Spokesman Dmitry Peskov, Washington is trying to put Putin at odds with Russia’s business elite through its "Kremlin List."