The US Treasury added 21 individuals and nine entities to the sanctions list, citing Russia’s inability to fulfill its obligations under the Minsk agreement as the main reason, an official statement showed on Friday. Note that this move is separate from the one expected to take place later today, when the US Treasury would most likely deliver to Congress its sanctions report (related to Russia’s alleged involvement with US elections) which could ban investments in Russian sovereign debt, among others. The new sanctions are aimed at senior leaders of two Ukrainian separatist groups, the Donetsk People’s Republic and the Luhansk People’s Republic, as well as senior Russian government officials (e.g. deputy energy minister Cherezov for his role in the delivery of Siemens turbines to Crimea in 2017).
Russian energy minister Novak said these sanctions were illegal, especially when it comes to energy ministry officials, and Moscow will seek explanations from Washington. Meanwhile, the head of the parliament’s foreign affairs committee Slutsky commented that these were destructive actions on the US side, which would further worsen bilateral relations.