More sanctions on Russians

| March 20, 2014 | 14 Comments

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The Treasury Department announced that they’ve sanctioned 16 more Russian officials who aren’t Vlad Putin to punish Putin for annexing the Crimea.

Viktor Ozerov is the Chairman of the Security and Defense Committee of the Federation Council of the Russian Federation. On March 1, 2014, Ozerov supported Russian President Vladimir Putin’s appeal regarding the use of the Russian Armed Forces in Ukraine.

Vladimir Dzhabarov is the First Deputy Chairman of the International Affairs Committee of the Federation Council of the Russian Federation. On March 1, 2014, Dzhabarov supported the Putin’s appeal regarding the use of the Russian Armed Forces in Ukraine.

Evgeni Bushmin is the Deputy Speaker of the Federation Council of the Russian Federation. On March 1, 2014, Bushmin publicly supported the deployment of Russian forces in Ukraine.

Nikolai Ryzhkov is a Senator in the Russian Upper House of Parliament (Federation Council). Ryzhkov publicly supported the deployment of Russian forces in Ukraine.

Sergei Zheleznyak is the Deputy Speaker of the State Duma of the Russian Federation.

Sergei Mironov is a Member of the Council of the State Duma, a Member of the State Duma Committee on Housing Policy and Housing and Communal Services, and Leader of the Fair Russia Faction in the Duma of the Russian Federation.

Aleksandr Totoonov is a Member of the Committee on Culture, Science, and Information, Federation Council of the Russian Federation. On March 1, 2014, Totoonov publicly supported the deployment of Russian forces in Ukraine.

Oleg Panteleev is the First Deputy Chairman of the Committee on Parliamentary Issues. On March 1, 2014, Panteleev publicly supported the deployment of Russian forces in Ukraine.

Sergey Naryshkin has been the Chairman of the Government Duma of the Federal Gathering of the Russian Federation since December, 2011. Additionally, he is a member of the National Security Council of the Russian Federation and of the United Russia party.

Victor Ivanov has been director of the Federal Drug Control Service (FSKN) of the Russian Federation since May 15, 2008; he was appointed as a member of the Security Council of the Russian Federation on May 25, 2008. Ivanov has served in a number of other government positions prior to that; he was Assistant to the President of the Russian Federation from 2004 – 2008; and Deputy Chief of the Administration of the Russian Federation from 2000 – 2004. Ivanov joined the KGB in 1977 and eventually rose to become the Deputy Director of the Federal Security Service. Ivanov is a close ally of Putin and served alongside Putin as the chief of staff of the St. Petersburg Mayor’s office in 1994 when Putin was first deputy head of the city’s administration.

Igor Sergun is the head of Russia’s military intelligence service (GRU) and is Deputy Chief of the General Staff.

Sergei Ivanov is the Chief of Staff of the Presidential Executive Office.

Alexei Gromov is the First Deputy Chief of Staff of the Presidential Executive Office.

Andrei Fursenko is an aide to the President of the Russian Federation and has been in that position since May 21, 2012. Fursenko has held a number of positions in the Government of the Russian Federation since 2001, including Minister of Education and Science from 2004 – 2012. Although not being designated for being a member of the Russian leadership’s inner circle, Fursenko first met Putin in 1993 and they remain closely associated.

Vladimir Yakunin was appointed as chairman of the board of the Russian state-owned company Russian Railways on June 15, 2005; he has remained as head of the company ever since. Yakunin is being designated because of his official position in the Russian government, but he is also a close confidant of Putin. Yakunin regularly consults with Putin on issues regarding the Russian Railways company. In addition, Yakunin accompanies Putin on many domestic and international visits. Yakunin met Putin while both were working in St. Petersburg. Yakunin decided to create a business center in the city and contacted Putin for his support. In addition, Yakunin became a member of the board of the Baltic Maritime Steamship Company on Putin’s instructions. Yakunin and Putin were also neighbors in the elite dacha community on the shore of Lake Komsomolsk and they served as cofounders of the Ozero Dacha Cooperative in November 1996.

Vladimir Kozhin was appointed the Head of Administration under the President of the Russian Federation by Putin on January 21, 2000. He has served continuously in that position until the present time. Kohzin is responsible for overseeing a staff of 60,000, over a hundred enterprises and institutions including the Kremlin and several other government buildings, and over four thousand vehicles. Kohzin’s positions have been variously referred to as Head of Administration, Head of the Presidential Affairs Office, Head of the Presidential Business Management Directorate of the Russian Federation, and head of the Presidential Property Management Directorate.

Members of the Inner Circle

The following individuals are being designated because each is controlled by, has acted for or on behalf of, or has provided material or other support to, a senior Russian government official.
Gennady Timchenko is one of the founders of Gunvor, one of the world’s largest independent commodity trading companies involved in the oil and energy markets. Timchenko’s activities in the energy sector have been directly linked to Putin. Putin has investments in Gunvor and may have access to Gunvor funds.

Arkady Rotenberg and Boris Rotenberg have provided support to Putin’s pet projects by receiving and executing high price contracts for the Sochi Olympic Games and state-controlled Gazprom. They have made billions of dollars in contracts for Gazprom and the Sochi Winter Olympics awarded to them by Putin. Both brothers have amassed enormous amounts of wealth during the years of Putin’s rule in Russia. The Rotenberg brothers received approximately $7 billion in contracts for the Sochi Olympic Games and their personal wealth has increased by $2.5 billion in the last two years alone.

Yuri Kovalchuk is the largest single shareholder of Bank Rossiya and is also the personal banker for senior officials of the Russian Federation including Putin. Kovalchuk is a close advisor to President Putin and has been referred to as one of his “cashiers.”

The following entity is being designated because it is controlled by, has acted for or on behalf of, or has provided material or other support to, senior Russian government officials.

Bank Rossiya (??? ?? ??????) is the personal bank for senior officials of the Russian Federation. Bank Rossiya’s shareholders include members of Putin’s inner circle associated with the Ozero Dacha Cooperative, a housing community in which they live. Bank Rossiya is also controlled by Kovalchuk, designated today. Bank Rossiya is ranked as the 17th largest bank in Russia with assets of approximately $10 billion, and it maintains numerous correspondent relationships with banks in the United States, Europe, and elsewhere. The bank reports providing a wide range of retail and corporate services, many of which relate to the oil, gas, and energy sectors.

As a result of Treasury’s action, any assets of the persons designated today that are within U.S. jurisdiction must be frozen. Additionally, transactions by U.S. persons or within the United States involving the individuals and entity designated today are generally prohibited.

Lucky for this administration there are 142,470,244 other people in Russia who they can sanction before they get to Putin himself. That should last them a good long while so they can look like they’re doing something.

Category: Barack Obama/Joe Biden, Foreign Policy

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  1. 2/17 Air Cav says:

    Wow. This is getting serious. Putin has retaliated. He sent a pair of Snowden’s soiled boxers to Obama and has retracted Biden’s invitation to the Bolshoi.

  2. David says:

    I can hear the cabinet meetings now “In opening, my annexation of the Crimea is is going well. Wow, it sucks to be you. In other matters….”

  3. Sparks says:

    Well there goes our great Russian caviar! No more to show off at White House dinners I guess. Michelle is going to be livid!

    “Barack you ass hole, you mean we’re gonna have to serve that low class, domestic caviar up in here from now on and even on Air Force One?!”

    “I can’t take this anymore Barack, you call them right now and have that, what’s his name…yea, Kerry guy, tell them we are takin’ off them sanction thingies right NOW, you here me you big eared ass wipe?”

    “And don’t plan on sleeping with me tonight either!”

    “But…but! Michelle, honey baby, I gots to do something so I look, you know, strong like Putin. I mean the man rides a bear without a shirt and all I have is a bicycle! But it does have that great bell ringie thingie on the handle bar.”

    “Barack, I am sooo done with you over this! You little brown turd!”

    “Get out Barack! Just get out of here right now. I’m sittin’ down!”

    “But honey darling, it’s the Oval Office, I mean it’s suppose to be my office. What of somebody comes for some pictures?”

    “You go work upstairs in the bedroom until I tell you you can come out, you herein’ me!”

    Meanwhile France has shown support by promising to export only their most inferior table wines to Russia.

  4. The Other Whitey says:

    Although Vladimir Putin is a busy man, reporters caught up to him after his 2:30 Chechen-torturing session while on his way to empty a keg of Stolichnaya while watching two hot Russian strippers go down on eachother (this in preparation for tomorrow’s grizzly beat rodeo in which Putin will be the headline contender in all events). When our reporters asked him about this second round of sanctions, he replied, “Look, I told you before, I don’t give a rat’s ass. I’ll invade whoever the hell I damn well want to invade, including your mom if I feel like it. If Obama decides to grow some balls, let me know. Otherwise, piss off. Pictures of me shirtless astride man-eating beasts will be in your inbox.”

    He was then asked for comment on Vice President Biden’s visit to Poland, and answered, “Ya know, my guys just finished installing a custom shark tank in my office at the Kremlin. The great whites are being delivered as we speak. Tell Shotgun Joe to come on over. I’m anxious to try it out!”

    During the interview, Putin multitasked admirably and handled several affairs of state, including signing an executive order to use a tactical nuke to level a small hill outside of Moscow to make room for a new public park and ice rink.

  5. Club Manager says:

    Obama needs to quit dicking around with this and draw a line in the sand.

  6. Nicki says:

    I would urge everyone not to be so hasty. The 29 individuals that were sanctioned are all part of Putin’s legal circle, in addition to those who had an integral hand in the decisions vis-a-vis Ukraine. Additionally, sanctioning that bank was kind of a stroke of genius. Kovalchuk and Bank Rossia are reported to have lost up to 20 percent of their assets, there’s a run on Rossiya, AND Fitch just downgraded Russia’s long-term default rating from stable to negative. And so did S&P. And we targeted the Ozero Cooperative, which has the most chance of putting pressure on Putin. Look it up on Wikipedia if you don’t know what that is.

    As much as you may or may not like this administration (and most of you know my stance on it), this was good. Very good.

    • David says:

      Nicki – I don’t think the real question is whether these sanctions are effective (without knowing how much Putin back-up to his associates, we can’t know whether this is really putting pressure on them) but that we are in a position where the ONLY thing we can effectively do IS sanctions. We are a toothless paper tiger, and have over the last 20 years successfully pissed away the greatest military in the world on bullshit missions our leadership couldn’t afford or were unwilling to complete – and did them anyway. It’s not whether the sanctions were good or not, it’s that they are our only somewhat credible threat.

      • Nicki says:

        I would argue that there’s value in proportional response. I don’t consider what we did yesterday to be in the “toothless paper tiger” category. It was VERY effective, and will continue to be effective, especially given our goals, which don’t include military engagement with the Russians, but to pressure Putin to get his dick out of Ukraine.

        Now, do I think the military has been decimated by years of mismanagement? Yeah. No doubt. But I don’t think this matter at hand is connected to that fact in any way. :)

        Fact is, no matter what Putin and his buddies are saying in the media right now, we kicked them squarely in the nuts. Hard.

        Interfax is reporting that Putin has ordered his salary to be transferred to his brand new account (my ass) at Bank Rossiya, probably as 1) to show how stable and good Rossiya (because he couldn’t possibly have accounts anywhere else, could he?) and 2) to give BR a much needed cash infusion.

        Economic repercussions will continue.

        I don’t think there’s any need to escalate to military action.

  7. Nicki says:

    Did I just write “legal circle?” WTF???? Need more coffee. I meant “close circle.”

    Sorry. It’s been a long damn week.

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