U.S. sanctions individuals, entities helping Russia blunt effects of economic penalties

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US President Joe Biden, with Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen (L) and Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin (R), speaks during a meeting with his cabinet at the White House in Washington, DC, on March 3, 2022.
Jim Watson | AFP | Getty Images

The U.S. Treasury Department announced Wednesday that it expanded its wide raft of sanctions to include businesses and individuals that are helping Russia blunt the impact of economic penalties imposed on Moscow.

Treasury officials said the department is now targeting Russian commercial bank Transkapitalbank, as well as a network of more than 40 people including oligarch Konstantin Malofeyev it believes are helping the Kremlin skirt a wave of economic punishments.

The Biden administration also said it’s cracking down on companies operating in Russia’s virtual currency mining industry, including Bitriver, that help the country monetize its exports and other natural resources.

“Treasury can and will target those who evade, attempt to evade, or aid the evasion of U.S. sanctions against Russia, as they are helping support Putin’s brutal war of choice,” Under Secretary for Terrorism and Financial Intelligence Brian Nelson said in a press release.

“The United States will work to ensure that the sanctions we have imposed, in close coordination with our international partners, degrade the Kremlin’s ability to project power and fund its invasion,” he added.

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