US to sanction Russian oligarchs under law targeting election meddling: report

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Washington (Reuters): The United States plans to sanction Russian oligarchs this week under a law targeting Moscow for meddling in the 2016 U.S. election, sources familiar with the matter said on Wednesday, in what could be the most aggressive move so far against Russia’s business elite.

The sanctions could be announced as soon as Thursday, U.S. officials told Reuters. The move targeting Russia’s business elite could affect people close to Russian President Vladimir Putin.

Sources told the news outlet that the move would come under the Countering America’s Adversaries Through Sanctions Act (CAATSA), which Congress passed last year to punish Russia for aggressive military action in Ukraine and Syria as well as Moscow’s meddling in the 2016 election.

Trump has faced fierce criticism for doing too little to punish Russia for the election meddling and other actions, and Special Counsel Robert Mueller is probing whether his campaign colluded with the Russians, an allegation the president denies.

“The administration is committed to implementing the CAATSA law as we have said many times,” a senior U.S. official told the outlet. “We published an oligarch designation recently and the secretary of the Treasury said further action would be taken. But at this time we don’t have anything specific to announce.”

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