US senator calls for tougher sanctions on Russian businesses

A Republican senator is pushing the US Treasury to tighten its sanctions on a variety of corporations, warning that gaps within the present regime are strengthening the hand of Russian president Vladimir Putin.

Steve Daines, a member of the Senate banking committee, wrote to Treasury secretary Janet Yellen on Monday calling for harder penalties on Bank Rossiya, Gazprom, Gazprombank and Rosneft. Yellen could have an opportunity to reply on Tuesday, when she testifies in entrance of the committee.

In the letter, which has been seen by the Financial Times, Daines wrote: “We must act to end this war expeditiously, and that means immediately ratcheting up sanctions on Russia and Vladimir Putin himself.”

The US has launched what some commentators have referred to as “financial warfare” on the Kremlin since Russian forces invaded Ukraine, together with freezing a part of Russia’s overseas forex reserves and sanctioning a variety of corporations and people.

However, Daines argued in his letter that a few of the penalties had not labored because the sanctioned entities have remained in enterprise. He referred to as for the Treasury to tighten its restrictions on Bank Rossiya particularly, a comparatively small Russian financial institution that has been accused of getting hyperlinks to Putin.

The financial institution was hit with sanctions in 2014, however Daines mentioned that it had been capable of keep it up buying and selling, partly by doing enterprise by way of different corporations wherein it owns a stake however not a controlling share. He referred to as on the Treasury to sanction these corporations: Cyprus-based Telcrest Investments and the Dutch firm ABR Investments.

Bank Rossiya didn’t reply to a request for remark. ABR and Telcrest couldn’t be reached for remark.

Daines additionally referred to as for Yellen to place Rosneft, Gazprom and Gazprombank on the Specially Designated Nationals And Blocked Persons List, which might put any firm that does enterprise with them susceptible to violating US sanctions.

This would in flip make it considerably tougher for European corporations to purchase Russian gasoline, since US banks is likely to be extra cautious of serving to full such transactions.

David Asher, a former state division official and senior fellow on the Hudson Institute, mentioned: “All of this together should have a devastating effect, if combined with sufficiently tough messaging from the Treasury and ruthless enforcement.”

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