The Obama administration has added two dozen names to a list of individuals and entities targeted by sanctions that was first announced on March 20.
The new sanctions list, announced Monday, includes seven Russian officials and 17 companies, from the financial, energy and infrastructure sectors. Two of the companies on the list, Volga Group and Transoil, are linked to Gennady Timchenko, a prominent Russian businessman believed to be one of the most powerful people in Russia, with confirmed close connections to Russian President Vladimir Putin.
“These sanctions represent the next stage in a calibrated effort to change Russia’s behavior,” President Barack Obama said at a news conference in the Philippines with Filipino President Benigno S. Aquino III. “The goal is not to go after Mr. Putin personally; the goal is to change his calculus, to encourage him to walk the walk, not just talk the talk,” he said, pointing to the Russian president’s diplomatic responsibility to help resolve the Ukraine crisis.
The announcement comes after more than a week of unrest in eastern Ukraine since an international agreement to defuse the situation was signed between Russia, Ukraine, the U.S. and the European Union. The stipulations in the Geneva deal, which asked for pro-Russian separatists in eastern parts of the country to lay down weapons and vacate the government buildings they occupy, have not been met. In fact, tensions have risen with pro-Moscow rebels taking eight military monitors hostage on Friday and a shooting involving the mayor of Kharkiv, a major eastern city.
Individuals on the list include politicians, military officers and businessmen with connections to Putin. Their assets will be frozen and travel to the U.S prohibited.
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One of the sanctioned members is Aleksei Pushkov, the head of the foreign affairs committee in Russia’s lower house of parliament. Companies on the list include those owned by Putin associates such as the engineering company Stroytransgaz, controlled by Timchenko; SMP Bank, owned by Russian billionaire brothers Boris and Arkady Rotenberg, and JSB Sobinbank, which has connections to Yuri Kovalchuk, Putin’s personal banker and largest shareholder of Bank Rossiya, who was included on the first list of sanctioned Russian government officials in March.
Gazprombank, Russia’s third-largest bank, which was allegedly considered as part of the newly imposed sanctions, was omitted from the list. Other major Russian banks such as VEB, Sberbank and VTB were not included, nor was Alexey Miller, the CEO of oil and gas giant OAO Gazprom (MCX:GAZP). But Igor Sechin, the president of Rosneft, Russia’s leading petroleum company, was.
The European Union is expected to add 15 more names to the list of sanctioned entities Tuesday. Unlike the U.S., which has imposed harsh sanctions targeted at members of Putin’s inner circle, the 28-nation European Union will most likely be less aggressive in their measures since its member states depend on Russia’s energy sources. So far, the EU has imposed asset freezes and travel bans on 33 Russians and Crimeans involved in Russia’s annexation of the Crimean Peninsula in March.
The complete list of sanctioned individuals and entities authorized by the U.S. government is below:
Oleg Belavantsev -- Appointed Russia’s Presidential Envoy to Crimea on March 21, 2014, by Putin.
Sergei Chemezov -- CEO of Rostec, a Russian state corporation aimed at promoting development, production and export of high-tech industrial products for civil and defense sectors.
Dmitry Kozak -- Deputy Prime Minister of the Russian Federation, a position he has held since October 2008, and to which he was reappointed by presidential decree in May 2012.
Evgeniy Murov -- Director of Russia’s Federal Protective Service, and an army general.
Aleksei Pushkov -- Deputy of the State Duma, the lower house of parliament, since December 4, 2011.
Igor Sechin – President of Rosneft (MCX:ROSN), Russia’s leading petroleum company, and one of the world’s largest publicly traded oil companies. He formerly served as Deputy Prime Minister of the Russian Federation from 2008 until 2012 and has shown “utter loyalty” to Putin, the White House statement said.
Vyacheslav Volodin -- First Deputy Chief of Staff of the Presidential Executive Office. Believed to be one of Putin’s closest advisors, who helped the president make the decision to move into Crimea in March.
InvestCapitalBank and SMP Bank -- Controlled by Russian billionaires Arkady and Boris Rotenberg.
Stroygazmontazh (SGM Group) -- A gas pipeline construction company owned or controlled by Arkady Rotenberg.
The Volga Group -- private investment group owned by Gennady Timchenko. Ten of the company’s entities have also been outlined in the latest list of sanctions:
Transoil -- Russia-based rail freight operator that specializes in the transportation of oil and oil products.
Aquanika (Russkoye Vremya LLC) -- a Russia-based mineral water and soft drink company.
Sakhatrans LLC -- a transportation company engaged in the construction of the bulk terminal for coal and iron ore exports in Muchka Bay near Vanino in Russia’s far east.
Avia Group LLC -- involved in ground infrastructure for the Business Aviation Center at Sheremetyevo International Airport in Moscow offering aircraft maintenance services, including aircraft storage and organization support services for flight operations.
Avia Group Nord LLC -- provides management services for corporate aviation at Pulkovo International Airport in Saint Petersburg, Russia.
Stroytransgaz Holding -- A holding company for construction assets.
Stroytransgaz Group -- A Russian construction group, comprising a number of business entities that specialize in different aspects of the construction industry.
Stroytransgaz OJSC -- An electricity construction company.
Stroytransgaz-M LLC -- An industrial construction company focused on oil, gas, petrochemical, and other civil engineering projects.
Stroytransgaz LLC -- An infrastructure construction company.
The Limited Liability Company Investment Company Abros -- Owned or controlled by Bank Rossiya and Yuri Kovalchuk.
CJSC Zest -- a leasing company owned or controlled by Bank Rossiya.
JSB Sobinbank -- a commercial bank owned or controlled by Bank Rossiya.