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Fresh U.S. Sanctions Target Network of Oligarch Alisher Usmanov

Usmanov receiving an award from Russian President Vladimir Putin in 2018. Mikhail Metzel / TASS

The U.S. Treasury Department has announced the sanctioning of a further 29 companies and 25 individuals linked to the Russian government over the invasion of Ukraine, including the country's Deputy Prime Minister Marat Khusnullin, according to a statement released on Wednesday.

Other entities targeted in the latest round of sanctions include Russian telecoms provider Megafon, steel giant Metalloinvest, and Rusatom Overseas, a subsidiary of Russia's nuclear power agency Rosatom responsible for the construction of nuclear facilities abroad.

However, the main target of the new sanctions package appeared to be the network of Russian-Uzbek billionaire Alisher Usmanov, whose holdings in metals, mining, technology, and telecommunications have made him one of Russia's wealthiest oligarchs, with an estimated net worth of $19.5 billion. 

While Usmanov, who is believed to be close to Russian President Vladimir Putin, has himself been subject to sanctions for over a year, the U.S. Treasury said that he still had at his disposal "a wide network of businesses in financial safe havens and family members through which to conduct financial transactions, enabling him to potentially circumvent sanctions."

Those linked to Usmanov who were sanctioned on Wednesday include three individuals from Cyprus who are listed as directors of a Cyprus-registered company Almenor, which is believed to be linked to Usmanov.

“As the Kremlin seeks ways around the expansive multilateral sanctions and export controls imposed on Russia for its war against Ukraine, the United States and our allies and partners will continue to disrupt evasion schemes that support Putin on the battlefield,” Under Secretary of the Treasury for Terrorism and Financial Intelligence Brian E. Nelson said.

“Today’s action underscores our dedication to implementing the G7 commitment to impose severe costs on third-country actors who support Russia’s war.”

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