The U.S. Department of the Treasury`s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) on Monday designated six individuals who represent Crimea and Sevastopol in the Russian State Duma (Parliament) and introduced sanctions against them in relation to Russia`s occupation of Crimea.
Specifically, OFAC designated Dmitry Belik, Andrey Kozenko, Konstantin Bakharev, Svetlana Savchenko, Ruslan Balbek, and Pavel Shperov pursuant to Executive Order 13660 for being responsible for or complicit in actions or policies that undermine democratic processes or institutions in Ukraine and actions or policies that threaten the peace, security, stability, sovereignty, or territorial integrity of Ukraine, according to press release of the U.S. Department of the Treasury.
These actions support the U.S. commitment to seek a diplomatic resolution to the crisis in Ukraine by maintaining U.S. sanctions on Russia and to further align U.S. measures with those of U.S. international partners.
”These steps also demonstrate our sustained commitment to a policy of non-recognition with respect to Russia`s purported annexation of Crimea, and our intent to maintain Crimea-related sanctions until Russia ends its occupation of the peninsula,” the press release said.
”The United States does not recognize the illegitimate elections to the Russian State Duma that took place in Crimea,” said John E. Smith, Acting OFAC Director.”
According to him, the action was closely coordinated with the EU, underscoring the strength of the U.S.-EU partnership in maintaining pressure on Russia until it respects the security and sovereignty of Ukraine.
”Treasury will continue to sanction those individuals involved in Russia`s annexation of Crimea and its destabilizing activities in Ukraine,” he added.
Belik, Kozenko, Bakharev, and Savchenko were elected to the Russian State Duma representing one-seat constituencies in Crimea and Sevastopol. Balbek was elected to the Russian State Duma as part of the United Russia political party ticket, along with Natalia Poklonskaya and Mikhail Sheremet, who are already under OFAC sanctions. Shperov, a member of the Liberal Democratic Party ticket, was seated on the Russian State Duma after a United Russia Party member declined the seat. Kozenko, Bakharev, Savchenko, Balbek, and Shperov also previously held local government positions in occupied Crimea following Russia`s purported annexation of Crimea in 2014.
As a result of the current action, all property and interests in property of Belik, Kozenko, Bakharev, Savchenko, Balbek, and Shperov subject to U.S. jurisdiction are blocked, and U.S. persons are generally prohibited from engaging in transactions with them.