The US Treasury has today approved new economic sanctions against six bankers, a businessman and eight Russian companies for their role in the Ukraine conflict and the annexation of the Crimean peninsula.
The decision was made one month before Barack Obama stepped down from being President of the United States to being replaced by Donald Trump, whose secretary of state, Rex Tillerson, has relations with the Kremlin and is against imposing sanctions on Russian people and companies.
The six bankers sanctioned today are directors of Banco Rossiya or its subsidiaries ABR Management and Sobinbank. The United States had previously sanctioned this banking entity.
The businessman targeted at the sanctions, Yevgeniy Prigozhin, is a contractor of the Russian Ministry of Defense and a company with which he has “close relations” is in charge of building a military base near the border with Ukraine, according to the United States.
The Treasury Department has also sanctioned eight companies, some of them public, for operating in the Crimea.
Sanctions prohibit individuals or US companies from doing business with sanctioned persons or companies.
The United States also imposed lower sanctions on several subsidiaries of the Novatek gas giant and the Russian Agricultural Bank.
Obama’s decision comes at a time of tension between the United States and Russia after several US news agencies have recently found evidence that the Kremlin attempted to interfere with computer hacking in the White House elections. The goal of favoring Trump.
The European Union, for its part, extended on Monday the economic sanctions imposed on Russia for its role in the separatist crisis in eastern Ukraine, which now run until July 31, 2017, when they will serve three years.