US punishes key Putin allies over worldwide ‘malign activity’
The US has imposed sanctions on seven Russian oligarchs and 17 senior government officials, accusing them of “malign activity around the globe”.
Twelve companies owned by the oligarchs, the state arms exporter and a bank are also sanctioned.
Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said the penalties targeted those profiting from Russia’s “corrupt system”.
The move was a response to Russia’s alleged meddling in the 2016 US presidential election, he said.
The sanctions are also being imposed because of the actions taken by the Kremlin in Crimea, eastern Ukraine and Syria, Mr Mnuchin said in a statement on Friday.
He accused the Russian government of “malicious” cyber-activities and said the sanctions would target “those who benefit from the Putin regime”.
“The Russian government operates for the disproportionate benefit of oligarchs,” he added.