US targets Russian bank and oligarchs in new round of sanctions on Ukraine


The US State Department has also imposed a visa ban on more than 650 Russians over human rights violations in Ukraine.


The US Treasury Department on Wednesday announced new sanctions against Russia’s Transcapital Bank and an extensive network surrounding oligarch Konstantin Malofeyev, which was allegedly used to evade sanctions.

The privately-owned Transcapitalbank was placed under lockdown sanctions, which aim to prevent it from accessing global financial networks by prohibiting US institutions and individuals, or others with US activities, from interacting with them.

The Treasury said the bank had set up its own internet-based financial transfer system and provided access to banks in China, the Middle East and elsewhere to enable settlement of payments in US dollars without going through the global SWIFT settlement system and to to avoid payments via the US. banking system.

Transcapitalbank’s system could allow other institutions and companies to avoid US sanctions against Russia, which have been tightened significantly since Russian forces invaded Ukraine on Feb. 24.

In addition, the Treasury has blacklisted a network of about 40 individuals and entities led by Malofeyev that it claims were used to facilitate sanctions evasion, as well as several Russian companies involved in virtual currency mining.

Malofeyev, the Treasury said, has long acted for the Russian government to support separatists in Ukraine and covertly undermine democracy and stability in several countries.

“Treasury can and will target those who are evading, trying to evade or helping to evade US sanctions against Russia as they help support Putin’s brutal electoral war,” said Brian Nelson, Assistant Secretary of the Treasury for Terrorism and Financial Intelligence.

At the same time, the US State Department imposed a visa ban on more than 650 people, mostly Russians, but also Ukrainian separatist actors and Belarusians.

Secretary of State Antony Blinken said the visa bans were “to promote accountability for human rights violations and violations”.

“We will use every instrument to advance accountability for human rights violations and violations of international humanitarian law in Ukraine,” Blinken said in a statement.

(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by NDTV staff and has been published from a syndicated feed.)

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