Washington Imposes New Sanctions On Kremlin Over Crimea Annexation

The Russian flag flies over the Embassy of Russia in Washington, U.S., August 6, 2018. REUTERS/Brian Snyder (Photo: REUTERS)

The Donald Trump administration imposed new sanctions on Thursday on a dozen individuals and entities over Moscow's annexation of Crimea while the said persons profited from the occupation, the US Treasury official said.

Just this week, the Treasury Department announced that the US government has imposed sanctions against two Ukrainians, a Russian officer, and nine other entities for human rights abuses and coercing the Russian government on its vested interests in Crimea, a report from CNN said.

As added by the news agency, one of these eight sanctioned individuals happens to have a direct link with Bank Rossiya and a certain Yuri Valentinovich Kovalchuck, the latter of which has previously been sanctioned by Washington.

Kovulchuck also happens to be a close ally of Russia's President Putin and tagged by US intelligence as a personal banker for select senior Russian officials.

In the documents cited by CNN, the Treasury said that the Crimea-related actions purportedly committed by the aforementioned persons further establish the July 25 Crimea Declaration wherein the United States government does not recognize Russia's forced annexation of the said Balkan nation.

Sigal Mandelker, the Treasury Undersecretary for Terrorism and Financial Intelligence, added that the US government office will remain committed to going after these alleged Russian-backed entities that seek to profit from the Crimean occupation.

These sanctions, as Mandelker added, will serve as a reminder to those who intend to conduct business with those operating in Crimea that such actions will not be tolerated and will be subjected not only to US sanctions but also of the same policies coming from the EU.

Repercussions in the International Scene

According to The Hill, these latest rounds of penalties, which were backed by the Congress in the first place, could bring undesirable effects on the strained US-Russia relationship. This is despite President Trump's claim of having a closer relationship with his Russian counterpart, President Vladimir Putin.

It remains to be seen how these new political measures will play out considering that the two heads of state are slated to brush elbows this weekend in the upcoming commemorative event celebrating the 100th anniversary of the end of World War I in Paris.

Trump said earlier that he won't be holding a meeting with Putin on the sidelines of the event, but is open on the possibilities that they will speak candidly to one another.

Inciting Incident

The Russian takeover of Crimea began in late February when forces from Kremlin appeared in various parts of the country. The troops bearing no particular insignia positioned on key areas such as military bases and government buildings, Reuters said.

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