The United States has announced additional sanctions against a number of Russian and Ukrainian entities linked to the actions of Russia in neighboring Ukraine.
The Trump government announced Thursday the sanctions prior to a trip by US President Donald Trump to Paris, where he will visit with Sunday President Vladimir Putin on Sunday on the occasion of the 100th anniversary of the end of the First World War.
Thursday's news on new sanctions affects two Ukrainians, one Russian and nine organizations in Ukraine and Russia. The US Treasury Department said the sanctions affect two people and a group engaged in "serious human rights violations in parts of Ukraine."
In a statement, Sigal Mandelker, the secretary of the Ministry of Finance for terrorism and financial intelligence, said that the department "continues to work for Russia-backed entities that want to benefit from the illegal annexation and occupation of Crimea by Russia."
She added: "The Treasury continues to focus on Russia-backed entities trying to take advantage of the illegal annexation and occupation of Crimea by Russia. Our sanctions are a clear reminder that attempts at investment and economic relations with those who are active to normalize in Crimea, are not tolerated and are subject to US and EU sanctions authorities. "
The effect of sanctions is to freeze American assets held by individuals or entities, and to ban US citizens from doing business with them.
The persons who have faced sanctions include Andriy Volodymyrovych Sushko, an officer of the Federal Security Service of the Russian Federation, who is suspected of "illegally kidnapped a Crimean Tatar activist who objected to the Russian occupation of Crimea. , and then participated in the abuse of this person ", according to the statement of the Treasury.
The sanctions are also directed against Aleksander Basov, who is an official of the so-called Luhansk People's Republic, a political entity in eastern Ukraine that is not internationally recognized as an autonomous state. Basov is accused of being complicit in or complicit in human rights violations in Russia controlled Ukraine.
A third person, Vladimir Nikolaevich Zaritsky, is subject to sanctions for actions by his company, Limited Liability Company Infrastructure Projects Management Company, for buying and developing property that has been illegally seized by the government of Ukraine.
The organizations focused on sanctions fall largely in the category of private investors active in Russia-controlled Crimea without the Ukrainian government's consent.
The new sanctions announced on Thursday followed a controversial press conference by Trump in which he insisted that former US President Barack Obama was responsible for allowing Russia to add the area it now controls in eastern Ukraine.