February 3, 2023

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The US imposes sanctions on a Russian oligarch and other officials

The US State Department announced a new round of sanctions against prominent Russians, including a metals industrial magnate who is one of the richest men in the country.

The sanctions blocked dollar financial transactions with tycoon Vladimir Potanin. He is the largest shareholder in Russia’s Nornickel, the world’s largest producer of palladium and refined nickel. He is also a former deputy prime minister and “a close associate” of President Vladimir V. Putin, Secretary of State Antony J. Blinken said in a statement.

The sanctions affected Mr Potanin’s wife and two adult children. Also targeted was Mr Potanin’s company Interros, which according to the Foreign Ministry “is active in almost every sector of the Russian economy”.

The United States also designated Mr. Potanin’s superyacht Nirvana as locked property subject to confiscation.

The Foreign Ministry’s action also affected five board members of Russia’s state railway company, including 29 Russian regional heads and governors.

“These governors are overseeing and enforcing conscription of citizens in response to Russia’s recent mobilization order,” Mr Blinken said in his statement.

The sanctions include Oleksii Dykiy, who heads a Russian reconnaissance battalion involved in the military demolition of the Ukrainian city of Mariupol and who “oversees the operation of filter camps that facilitate the forced relocation of Ukrainian citizens to Russia,” Mr Blinken said.