US expands sanctions

WASHINGTON: The Obama administration on Tuesday imposed financial restrictions on 34 additional people and entities for helping Russian and Ukrainian companies evade US penalties and other infractions, prompting threats of retaliation from the Kremlin. The action helps ‘maintain the efficacy of existing sanctions’ established after Russia’s annexation of the Crimean peninsula last year and support for eastern Ukrainian separatists, the Treasury Department said. Fourteen are linked to ‘serious and sustained evasion’ or are subsidiaries of already sanctioned firms. The department called six separatists and two former Ukrainian government officials ‘complicit’ in corruption or in destabilising Ukraine. Twelve were targeted for operating from Crimea. Americans can no longer do business with those listed, and any US assets they have are now frozen.