US Hits Russian Spies With Fresh Sanctions Over Election Meddling

US Hits Russian Spies With Fresh Sanctions Over Election Meddling

US Hits Russian Spies With Fresh Sanctions Over Election Meddling

The financial penalties target at least 15 members of the GRU, Russia's military intelligence service, for a "wide range of malign activity" that includes "efforts to undermine global organizations through cyber-enabled means, and an assassination attempt in the United Kingdom", the Treasury Department said in a news release.

The U.S. Treasury Department twinned that development with an announcement that it would lift sanctions on major aluminum company Rusal and two other firms tied to Oleg Deripaska after a deal was struck to sever the Russian oligarch's control over them.

Nine of the GRU operatives were targeted for their involvement in a campaign to disrupt US elections by targeting state election systems and political parties, according to Tresury officials.

The Treasury sanctioned several individuals for their alleged roles in the hacking of the World Anti-Doping Agency, the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons, and other organizations between 2016 and 2018.

Also sanctioned were two GRU agents who allegedly attempted to assassinate Russian defector Sergei Skripal in Britain, and two individuals and three companies tied to the Russian troll farm accused of trying to manipulate U.S. public opinion.

In April, the US Treasury imposed sanctions on Deripaska, Rusal, En+ and other companies in which he owns stakes, citing "malign activities" by Russian Federation, prompting turmoil in global aluminium markets.

Following Wednesday's actions, all property and interests in property of these persons subject to or transiting United States jurisdiction are blocked, and U.S. persons are generally prohibited from engaging in transactions with them.

The measures also apply to two individuals and three companies tied to the Russian troll farm, the Internet Research Agency (IRA), accused of trying to manipulate United States public opinion.

The Treasury Department officially sanctioned 15 Russian military intelligence operatives on Wednesday. Boyarkin is a former intelligence officer who reports directly to Deripaska and helped provide "Russian financial support" to a Montenegrin political party ahead of elections in Montenegro in 2016, Treasury's statement said.

The Trump administration on Wednesday notified Congress of its plans to lift sanctions on two Russian firms, Rusal and EN+ Group. They will suffer "severe consequences" should they not comply, he added.

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