US sanctions more Russian companies, people linked to CrimeaThe US government said that it has extended the economic sanctions on Russia to include eight more entities and seven individuals linked to the annexation of Crimea.
The US government said that it has extended the economic sanctions on Russia to include eight more entities and seven individuals linked to the annexation of Crimea.
The Treasury Department said that this is part of the government's goal to maintain pressure on Russia by sustaining the costs of its occupation of the Ukrainian peninsula.
The statement said that six of the people were designated for helping to provide support to Bank Rossiya, which was sanctioned in 2014 for providing material support to a senior Russian official.
The seventh is accused of having links to a company building a military base near the Russia-Ukraine border.
The companies that are sanctioned include Institut Stroiproekt, a Russian highway construction company, Russian government-sponsored Crimean Railway and the Crimean Ports company.
Russia's Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov said that the sanctions were hostile acts by the outgoing Obama administration and Russia would expand its sanctions lists against the United States in response.
"We retain the right to choose the time, place and form of our responsive actions in a way that suits us," Ryabkov said.
US State Department spokesman John Kirby, however, denied suggestions that the timing of the measures was related to the transition next month.
"This decision by the Treasury Department had nothing to do with the time on the clock. It had everything to do with Russia's activities and support for the separatists in Ukraine and for their occupation of Crimea," Kirby said.
The US move comes a day after the European Union formally extended its economic sanctions on Russia's defense, energy and financial sectors until mid-2017, a move EU leaders agreed to last week.