Do the U.S. sanctions against Russia have any bite?
US imposed sanctions on individuals linked to Russian election interference
The list includes Ukrainian deputy Andriy Derkach and three employees &# 171; Internet Research Agencies&# 187;
The US Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control on Thursday imposed sanctions on four Russian-linked individuals for attempting to influence the US electoral process..
“Russia uses many puppets in an attempt to sow discord between political parties and cause internal divisions in order to influence voters,” the Finance Ministry said in a statement..
In particular, a member of the Ukrainian parliament, Andriy Derkach, who, according to the department, has been an active Russian agent for more than ten years and maintains close ties with the Russian special services, fell under the sanctions. Derkach was directly or indirectly involved in foreign interference in the upcoming 2020 U.S. presidential election.
“Andrei Derkach and other Russian agents use manipulation and deception to influence elections in the United States and elsewhere in the world,” said Treasury Secretary Stephen Mnuchin. “The United States will continue to use every tool at its disposal to counter these Russian disinformation campaigns and maintain the integrity of our electoral system.”.
The sanctions list also included three employees of the Internet Research Agency, which is accused of attempting to interfere in the 2018 midterm elections: Artem Lifshits, Anton Andreev and Daria Aslanova.
As noted in a statement by Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, they handled the organization’s cryptocurrency accounts, thereby contributing to its malicious activities against the American people..
The sanctions are aimed at exposing Russian campaigns of malicious influence and protecting the upcoming elections from foreign interference. As the Ministry of Finance emphasizes, this step is a clear signal for Moscow that such activities are unacceptable..
“This decision clearly demonstrates that the United States will not hesitate to use all the instruments of national power to respond to the actions of foreign forces that seek to interfere in our elections or otherwise influence them,” Pompeo said..
The sanctions mean the freezing of all assets of these persons falling under the jurisdiction of the United States, and the prohibition of doing business with them for American citizens. In addition, any legal entities that are 50 percent or more owned by one or more of the specified persons are also blocked..
Position of Democratic Senators
Leading Senate Democrats, including Chuck Schumer, Mark Warner, Bob Menendez, Amy Klobuchar, have called on the Trump administration to come up with a comprehensive plan to end foreign interference in the 2020 elections. This call came after the US authorities imposed sanctions on a Ukrainian citizen and longtime Russian agent Andrey Derkach..
“Today’s announcement of sanctions against Russian agent Andrei Derkach comes a week after we called on Minister Mnuchin to impose new sanctions for electoral interference, and demonstrates the critical importance of congressional briefings and public transparency to protect the country from continued attacks on our democracy.” – said in a statement by a group of legislators.
Democratic senators believe that Finance Minister Mnuchin “did the right thing” by applying sanctions to Derkach. However, lawmakers add, now the Trump administration “must immediately take sanctions against other individuals and organizations responsible for attempts to influence or intervene in elections.”.
Russian service &# 171; Voices of America&# 187;
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