Treasury designates violators of Russian sanctions

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The Treasury Department on Wednesday named a number of entities and individuals involved in trying to evade sanctions imposed by the United States and its international partners on Russia, saying economic costs will be imposed to “degrade the Kremlin’s ability to project power and finance” its invasion. from Ukraine.

The Treasury Department’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) designated Russian commercial bank Transkapitalbank and a global network of more than 40 individuals and entities headed by U.S.-appointed Russian oligarch Konstantin Malofeyev, including organizations whose main mission is to facilitate the circumvention of sanctions for Russian entities. .


OFAC also named companies operating in Russia’s virtual currency mining industry, which is said to be the third largest in the world. The Treasury Department said it was the first time it had named a virtual currency mining company.

“Treasury can and will target those who evade, attempt to evade, or help evade U.S. sanctions on Russia because they help support Putin’s brutal war of choice,” deputy deputy Brian E. Nelson said Wednesday. Secretary of Terrorism and Financial Intelligence. . “The United States will work to ensure that the sanctions we have imposed, in close coordination with our international partners, degrade the Kremlin’s ability to project power and finance its invasion.”

President Vladimir Putin has shut down independent media in Russia.
(Getty Images)

Transkapitalbank is a private Russian commercial bank that has been operating since 1992. The Treasury says TKB officials offered services to banks in Asia, including China and the Middle East, and “suggested options to evade sanctions international”.

The Treasury Department said that, for example, in order “to avoid detection and sanctions-derived restrictions”, the bank offered its customers the ability to transact through its proprietary internet banking system known as of TKB Business, which they describe as an alternative communication channel to the Society for Worldwide Interbank Financial Telecommunication (SWIFT) network.

The Treasury said the move was to “process U.S. dollar payments for sanctioned customers.”

The Treasury also noted that TKB was seeking to establish a settlement hub in Asia “without involving US or European banks in the clearing process.”

On Wednesday, OFAC also targeted a global sanctions bust and a “malicious influence network” led by Russian oligarch Konstantin Malofeyev. Malofeyev was first named in 2015 for being “responsible for, complicit in, or engaging in actions or policies that threaten the peace, security, stability, sovereignty or territorial integrity of the ; and for materially aiding, sponsoring, or providing funds, material or technological support to the so-called Donetsk People’s Republic, or goods or services to or in support of it. »

Malofeyev has also been sanctioned by Australia, Canada, the European Union (EU), Japan, New Zealand and the United Kingdom (UK).


According to the Treasury Department, at the time of his appointment in 2014, Malofeyev “funded separatist activities in eastern Ukraine and was a major source of funding for Russians promoting separatism in Crimea.”

“In recent years, Malofeyev, covertly or through intermediaries, has supported pro-Russian activities that undermine democracy, interfere in elections, and degrade security and stability in a host of countries,” the Treasury Department said. “Malofeyev served as an intermediary between the Government of the Russian Federation (GoR) and pro-Russian politicians abroad, facilitated funding or directly funded pro-Russian politicians and opinion makers, and worked to create institutions that could advance Russia’s interests in the European Union from within.”

Meanwhile, the sanctions are also being coordinated with additional actions taken by the State Department.

The State Department is set to impose visa restrictions on 635 Russian nationals who are “involved in the suppression of dissent in Russia and abroad, who have been involved in activities that threaten the territorial integrity of Ukraine and who have been implicated in human rights violations in prison facilities and unofficial places of detention in Russian-controlled areas in Ukraine’s Donbass region”.

The State Department is also imposing visa restrictions on three Russian Federation officials for their involvement in “gross human rights abuses, and on 17 individuals responsible for undermining democracy in Belarus.”

“As a result of today’s action, all property and interests in the property of the above persons that are in the United States or in the possession or control of U.S. persons are blocked and must be reported to OFAC,” the Treasury Department said Wednesday. “In addition, all entities owned, directly or indirectly, 50% or more by one or more blocked persons are also blocked.”


The Treasury stated that “all transactions by U.S. persons or within (or in transit of) the United States that involve property or interests in property of named or otherwise blocked persons are prohibited unless authorized by a general or specific license issued by OFAC, or exempted”.

“These prohibitions include making any contribution or provision of funds, goods or services by, to or for the benefit of any Blocked Person and receiving any contribution or provision of funds, goods or services from such a person,” the Treasury said.

In February, the United States, Canada and other European allies imposed sanctions on Russia and removed Russian banks from the SWIFT messaging system. The United States and its allies said the move would “ensure these banks are disconnected from the international financial system and impair their ability to operate globally.”


The decision came from the leaders of the European Commission, France, Germany, Italy, the United Kingdom, Canada and the United States.

SWIFT provides messaging services to banks in over 200 countries and is controlled by G-10 central banks including Belgium, Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, Netherlands , the United Kingdom, the United States, Switzerland and Sweden.

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