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Wednesday, May 25, 2022

US sanctions four Ukrainians for working for Russia

The Biden administration targets Ukrainian citizens, including two lawmakers, accusing it of working to destabilize the country.

The United States has imposed sanctions on four Ukrainian citizens, including two lawmakers, accusing them of acting on behalf of Russian intelligence services to “destabilize” Ukraine ahead of a possible Russian invasion of the country.

Washington announced the measures on Thursday, pledging to coordinate with Kiev to “identify, uncover and impose costs” on Ukrainians working towards Moscow.

The US sanctions targeted two current members of Ukraine’s parliament, Taras Kozak and Oleg Voloshin, as well as two former officials, Vladimir Sivkovich and Volodymyr Olyanik.

“This action aims to target, expose and undermine Russia’s destabilization efforts in Ukraine,” the State Department said in a statement.

“It is distinct and distinct from the wide range of high-impact measures the United States and its allies and partners are prepared to implement, incurring significant costs on the Russian economy and financial system if it were to further invade Ukraine.” Was.”

The Biden administration refers to a possible Russian invasion of Ukraine as a “further invasion” since Russia annexed Ukraine’s Crimean peninsula in 2014 and soon thereafter backed a separatist insurgency in the country’s east.

Russian forces are gathering troops near the country’s border with Ukraine, prompting US and European fears that Russia may prepare for an imminent invasion of its neighbour.

Washington has warned Moscow that it will have “big consequences” if it does infiltrate.

Russia has denied that it plans to invade Ukraine, but has strongly opposed the country’s efforts to join NATO. Moscow is seeking security guarantees that the US-led military coalition would halt its former expansion into former Soviet republics – a demand Washington has dismissed as a “non-starter”.

Earlier this month talks between US and Russian officials and separate talks between Russia and NATO failed to resolve the impasse. US officials have said they are continuing to seek diplomacy with Russia to end the crisis.

US Secretary of State Antony Blinken will meet with Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov in Geneva on Friday. Blinken warned on Thursday that any “new acts of aggression” from Russia towards Ukraine would face a “sharp, serious, united response” from the US and its allies.

Meanwhile, in its own statement on Thursday’s sanctions, the US Treasury accused Kozak – one of two current members of Ukraine’s parliament – of spreading propaganda through several news channels in Ukraine under his control.

It said Voloshin “worked with Russian actors to undermine Ukrainian government officials and advocate on behalf of Russia” and accused Olyanik of gathering information on critical infrastructure in Ukraine on behalf of Russia.

For his part, Sivkovic “worked with a network of Russian intelligence actors to conduct influence operations”, including attempts to officially hand Kiev Crimea to Moscow, the US Treasury alleged.

The sanctions froze the assets of targeted individuals in the US and made it a potential crime for US citizens to do business with them.

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World Nation News Deskhttps://www.worldnationnews.com
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