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US Sanctions Expand to Russia's Largest Banks, Oil Companies

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US Treasury's Office of Foreign Assets has announced new sanctions against Russia's largest banks and oil companies.

MOSCOW, September 12 (RIA Novosti) - US Treasury's Office of Foreign Assets has announced new sanctions against Russia's largest banks and oil companies.

"Today we have deepened our sanctions on Russian financial institutions, expanded our sanctions on Russia's energy sector, and increase the number of sanctioned Russian entities in the financial services, energy and defense sectors," a senior administration official told journalists in a telephone briefing.

"The steps we are taking today, and the steps that we've taken to date, alongside our partners in the EU and elsewhere, are taking a serious toll on the Russian economy. At the most basic level, most analysts projected modest growth in the Russian economy this year. But now, most expect that the Russian economy will not grow at all and in fact it may already have tipped into recession," he added.

"The steps we are taking today, and the steps that we've taken to date, alongside our partners in the EU and elsewhere, are taking a serious toll on the Russian economy. At the most basic level, most analysts projected modest growth in the Russian economy this year. But now, most expect that the Russian economy will not grow at all and in fact it may already have tipped into recession," he added.

Banks included on the list:

Sberbank;

Vneshekonombank (VEB);

VTB;

Gazprombank;

Rosselkhozbank.

Also on the list of companies sanctioned by the US:

Transneft;

Gazpromneft;

Novatek;

Rosneft;

Rostec;

Lukoil;

Surzutneftegaz.

The European Union (EU) and the US have ratcheted up sanctions on Moscow over its alleged support for rebels in eastern Ukraine and a conflict that has claimed more than 2,600 lives since April. Russia denies military involvement in Ukraine and says sanctions are counterproductive.

"We are prepared to roll back sanctions if Russia and the separatists implement the Minsk agreements in good faith," added the official, in reference to a recently-agreed ceasefire. "But we've yet to see real evidence that Russia has ceased its efforts to destabilize Ukraine."

Earlier on Friday, new European Union sanctions against Moscow over its alleged role in the Ukrainian crisis came into force. New restrictive measures target three major Russian oil companies and three major defense companies, as well as several other entities and 24 individuals.

Over the past few months, the United States and the European Union introduced several rounds of targeted sanctions against the Russian economy, unjustifiably blaming Moscow for meddling in Ukraine's internal affairs.

Earlier in the day, Russian President Vladimir Putin said that new sanctions imposed by the European Union were not effective.

Putin added that "sanctions always cause certain damage, including to those who use this instrument."

Moscow has repeatedly stated that Russia is not a party to Ukraine's internal conflict, said sanctions run counter to the principles of international law and warned that such measures would have a "boomerang effect" on Western economies.

Tags:
economy, sanctions, political crisis, Gazpromneft, Rostec, Vnesheconombank, Gazprombank, LUKoil, Surgutneftegaz, Novatek, VTB, Transneft, Sberbank, Rosselkhozbank
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