WASHINGTON -- On Thursday, the Biden administration announced new sanctions against additional Russian Oligarchs and their families. Officials are preparing for an intensifying invasion of Ukraine in the coming days.
These sanctions are the latest effort by President Joe Biden, and European allies, to press Russian President Vladimir Putin to de-escalate Ukraine following his invasion last week.
In a statement, the Biden administration stated that new sanctions would be used to seize yachts and luxury apartments, as well as money, belonging to Russian oligarchs under U.S. jurisdiction.
Dmitry Peskov is a prominent spokesperson of the Kremlin as well as Yevgeniy Prigozhin a wealthy Russian businessman, known as " Putin’s chef." The U.S. claimed that Prigozhin was closely connected to the Russian campaign for interference in the 2016 presidential elections.
The sanctions will also affect technology tycoon Alisher Bukhanovich Usmanov, who is also a metals and technology tycoon. According to the White House, Usmanov is "one of Russia’s richest individuals and an ally of Putin". He and his family will not be able to use his superyacht (which was just taken by Germany) in the U.S.A.
Other Russian oligarchs who were sanctioned included Boris Rotenberg and Arkady Rotenberg as well as Sergei Chemezov, Igor Shuvalov and their spouses and children.
The White House stated that these individuals had enriched themselves at great cost to the Russian people and some of them have promoted their families into high-ranking posts. "Others are at the top of Russia's biggest companies and responsible for providing the resources needed to support Putin's invasion in Ukraine."
It continued that these individuals and their families would be "cut off from the U.S. Financial System, their assets will be frozen in the United States, and their property blocked from any use."
Additional visa restrictions will be imposed by the U.S. on 19 additional oligarchs as well as 47 family members. These names weren't immediately publicized.
Jen Psaki, White House Press Secretary, stated that the sanctions were "significant steps" and would have an impact on those who are close to President Putin.
In an interview with MSNBC, Michael McFaul, former U.S. Ambassador to Russia under Obama, stated that he appreciated the new sanctions but they weren't likely to influence Putin.
He said that the oligarchs are rich because Putin is around.
The European Union had announced earlier this week that it would sanction more then two dozen prominent Russians including Usmanov, Peskov, and other notables.