The Obama administration angered Putin and the Kremlin by sanctioning 34 additional individuals and entities for assisting Russian and Ukrainian companies to avoid US penalties and other punishments.
The expansion of the sanctions will help to “maintain the efficacy of existing sanctions” which were put in place in reaction to the Russian annexation of the Crimea last year and for the support that Russian has given to eastern Ukrainian separatists.
Fourteen of the 34 are connected to “serious and sustained evasion,” or are divisions of firms already on the sanctioned list. The treasury department said that six separatists and two ex-government officials from the Ukraine are “complicit” in corruption, or in weakening the Ukrainian government. US citizens are restricted from doing business with those on this list, and any US assets held by these entities are now frozen.
The new sanctions match those put in place by America’s allies and demonstrate Washington’s “unwavering resolve to pressure Russia to respect the security and sovereignty of Ukraine,” John Smith, the acting sanction boss of the treasury department said.
Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov responded to the US move:
“This is a continuation of the unfriendly line against Russia that runs counter to logic, ” he said.