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U.S. May Expand Russia Sanctions After Examining Panama Papers

U.S. authorities will examine documents leaked in the Panama Papers scandal to gather information on individuals who may be helping Russia to bypass sanctions, the Bloomberg news agency reported Thursday.

It is expected that the Treasury will present an expanded sanctions list in June, when the European Union will discuss the latest sanction extensions against Russia.

Former Deputy Assistant Secretary for Counter Threat Finance and Sanctions Peter Harrell told Bloomberg that the Panama Papers will help the Treasury Department to gather a base of evidence on the violations brought in relation to Russian sanctions.

"Clearly this trove of documents has the potential to give the Office of Foreign Assets Control a number of leads and to help build the evidence to support new [additions to the list],” Harrell said, Bloomberg reported.

Harrell also expressed confidence that in June the European Union will extend sanctions against Russia for an additional six months.

The Treasury Department refused to comment on media reports regarding Russian companies mentioned in the Panama Papers. However, in a statement it stressed that all information sources will be used to gather intelligence on attempts to bypass sanctions.

The Panama Papers include more than 10 million documents leaked from Panamanian law firm Mossack Fonseca linking Russian politicians and businessmen to offshore companies including close associates of Russian President Vladimir Putin.

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