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USA introduces new sanctions against Russia for Crimea, violation of rights

The Russian flag flies over the Russian Embassy in Washington on August 6, 2018. REUTERS / Brian Snyder

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The United States on Thursday imposed sanctions on two Ukrainians, one Russian and nine units in Ukraine and Russia for Moscow's accession to the Crimea and related human rights violations, said the US Treasury.

One of the sanctioned entities ̵

1; the limited responsibility of the Southern Project – was linked to Bank Rossiya and Russian businessman Yuri Kovulchuk, the Ministry of Finance said in a statement.

"Treasury is still committed to targeting Russian-supported entities trying to take advantage of Russia's illegal annexation and occupation of the Crimea," said Sigal Mandelker, secretary of the finance ministry for terrorism and financial intelligence.

The sanctions aim to further punish Moscow for its 2014 annexation of the Ukraine's Crimean Peninsula and its support for Pro-Russian separatists in eastern Ukraine.

The critics of President Donald Trump have accused him of being soft in Russia and there is a two-way pressure in Congress to impose more sanctions against Moscow, inter alia for mixing in the presidential elections from 2016. Russia has denied its commitment .

Among the blacklisted are Andriy Sushko, an official of Russian Federal Security Service (FSB). The Treasury Department said he was in charge of the abduction of a Crimean Tatra activist in 2017, who was tortured while being held.

Sanctions also target companies that the Treasury was favored by the annex of the Crimea. Among them is Mriya Resort and Spa, a hotel investment behind Russia's largest bank Sberbank, on the southern coast of Crimea in the city of Yalta, said the department.

Also blacklisted is the Ministry of State Security for the self-proclaimed Luhansk People's Republic, said the Treasury.

Reporting by Tim Ahmann, Makini Brice and Lesley Wroughton; Editing of Mohammad Zargham and Tom Brown

Our Standards: Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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