Today, the U.S. Treasury Department's Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) issued a new round of sanctions against Russian and Kremlin elites, oligarchs, and Russian political and national security leaders who supported Russian President Vladimir Putin's brutal and illegal invasion of Ukraine. .

Today's action includes the designation of regime elites and corporate executives who serve as aides and facilitators to the Russian regime, including three immediate family members of President Putin's spokesman Dmitry Sergeyevich Peskov; Russian tycoon and Kremlin insider Viktor Vikselberg; and the management board of the sanctioned VTB Bank. In addition, OFAC named 12 members of the Russian State Duma, including Vyacheslav Victorovich Volodin, who is also a permanent member of the Russian Security Council.

OFAC also issued guidance under today's G7 leaders' statement to guard against potential attempts to use virtual currencies to evade U.S.-imposed sanctions against Russia. All of these actions complement a new executive order issued today by President Biden that imposes new import and export restrictions on Russia, including the export of U.S. paper currency to Russia. Finally, OFAC also issued guidance and authorization to implement the President's new Executive Order.

"The Treasury Department continues to hold Russian officials accountable for enabling Putin's unjustified and unprovoked war," said Treasury Secretary Janet L. Yellen. "Today's action also further isolates the severely damaged Russian economy by banning trade in products that are vital to the economic and financial interests of all Russian elites."

Targeting Putin boosters and elites

Dmitry Sergeyevich Peskov, has been identified as a leading propagandist and spokesman for the Russian Federation. Peskov is or was an official of the Government of the Russian Federation (GoR) under Executive Order (EO) No. 14024. Australia, Canada, and the European Union (EU) have also sanctioned Peskov.

Today, OFAC is naming three members of Peskov's family, all of whom led lavish lifestyles at odds with Peskov's civil service salary and likely built on the ill-gotten gains of Peskov's relationship with Putin.

Peskov's wife, Tatiana Alexandrovna Navka, owns a real estate empire worth more than $10 million. Her real estate includes properties in elite Moscow suburbs where Putin also lives, another multimillion-dollar Moscow apartment given to her by the Russian government, and an apartment on the Crimean Peninsula in Ukraine, which Russia has occupied since 2014. After winning a gold medal in ice dancing for Russia at the 2006 Winter Olympics, she later hosted an ice dancing show on Russia's state-owned, pro-Kremlin Channel One.

The Treasury Department also designated Peskov's two adult children, Nikolai Peskov (Nikolai) and Elisaveta Dmitrievna Peskova (Lisa). Nikolai grew up in England and later returned to Russia to join the army and later worked for the Russian propaganda agency RT. Nikolai reportedly has access to many luxury vehicles and travels on private jets and yachts. Lisa has tens of thousands of followers on social media, where she shows off her lavish lifestyle. She previously interned for a member of the European Parliament who openly supported Russia's attempt to annex the Crimea region of Ukraine.

Navka, Nikolay and Liza are all designated today as spouses or adult children of Peskov pursuant to EO 14024, and Peskov's property and interests in property are blocked pursuant to EO 14024.

Operating in the energy sector of the Russian Federation economy under EO 13662 as of April 6, 2018. Vekselberg's extensive holdings are integrated primarily through his designated Renova Group companies, spanning multiple sectors of the Russian Federation economy and intertwined with a number of GoR's global initiatives, such as the Rusnano Group, one of Russia's largest technology investors, which provides GoR's revenue streams.

Vikselberg maintains close ties with key officials in the Russian government, including Vladimir Putin and former Russian President Medvedev. Medvedev personally appointed Vikselberg to serve as director and president of the Skolkovo Foundation (SF), which aims to create a Russian version of Silicon Valley to enhance Russia's international standing as a leading innovation center for technological development. Following his previous designation, Vikselberg no longer holds this position at SF. In addition, Vikselberg has represented the Kremlin at Russian diplomatic and soft power events, accompanying Russian government officials on cultural missions abroad.

As part of today's action, OFAC identified two of Vekselberg's luxury assets as blocked property: an aircraft with tail number P4-MIS and a yacht named Tango. P4-MIS is an Airbus A319-115, serial number 3133, registered in Aruba. Vekselberg's yacht Tango is based in the Cook Islands, a self-governing South Pacific island nation in free association with New Zealand, IMO number 1010703, with a total registered T-position of 2,083. The P4-MIS and Tango are each valued at approximately $90 million, for a total identified blocked property of $180 million.

Vekselberg is re-designated under EO 14024 as acting or purporting to act, directly or indirectly, on behalf of GoR and as operating or having operated in the technical sector of the economy of the Russian Federation.

VTB Bank Management Board

On February 24, 2022, the Ministry of Finance designated VTB Bank, the second largest bank in Russia, under EO 14024, as being owned or controlled directly or indirectly by GoR, or acting or purporting to act for or on behalf of GoR, and operating or having operated in the financial services sector of the economy of the Russian Federation. Today, OFAC is appointing 10 individuals to form the management board of VTB Bank.

  • Olga Konstantinovna Delgunova
  • Vadim Valerievich Kulik
  • Valery Vasilievich Lukyanenko
  • Anatoly Yuriyevich Pechatnikov
  • Natalia Germanovna Dex
  • Maxim Dmitrievich Kondratenko
  • Erkin Rakhmatovich Norov
  • Sviatoslav Yevgenievich Ostrovsky
  • Dmitry Vasilievich Pianov
  • Yuri Nikolayevich Andresov

According to EO 14024, all 10 individuals are designated as or have been leaders, officers, senior executives or board members of GoR and operate or have operated in the financial services sector of the Russian Federation economy.

Further cutting off potential avenues for Russia to evade sanctions supports the G-7 leaders' commitment to keep economic measures effective. The guidance goes on to make clear that Treasury's broad sanctions actions against Russia require all U.S. persons to comply with OFAC regulations, regardless of whether transactions are denominated in traditional legal tender or virtual currency. Sanctioned Russians are known to take a variety of measures to evade U.S. and international sanctions. As a result, Americans wherever they are located, including companies that handle virtual currency transactions, must be vigilant to attempts to circumvent OFAC regulations and must take risk-based measures to ensure they do not engage in prohibited transactions. OFAC is closely monitoring any efforts to circumvent or violate Russia-related sanctions, including through the use of virtual currencies, and is committed to using its extensive enforcement apparatus to combat violations and promote compliance.

The guidance follows a recent alert issued by the Treasury Department's Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN) advising all financial institutions to be alert to potential efforts to evade sanctions and restrictions on Russia. The alert provides examples of red flags to help identify suspected sanctions evasion activities and reminds financial institutions of their reporting obligations under the Bank Secrecy Act.

Implementation of a broad new executive order

Today, President Biden issued a March 11, 2022 Executive Order to ban further Russia-related imports and exports, consistent with the commitment made by G-7 leaders to deny Russia export revenue and ensure that our citizens do not vouch for Putin's war.

Among other things, this EO prohibits the importation into the United States of the following products originating in the Russian Federation: fish, seafood and products thereof; alcoholic beverages; and non-industrial diamonds. In addition, this EO prohibits the export, re-export, sale or supply, directly or indirectly, of U.S. dollar-denominated currency bills from the United States or by U.S. persons, wherever located, to GoR or to any person located in the Russian Federation.

Pursuant to the Regulations Implementing the March 11, 2022 EO's Russian Harmful Foreign Activities Sanctions, OFAC issued Russia-related GL 17 to authorize the importation of existing purchases of contracted prohibited products. OFAC also issued Russia-related GLs 18 and 19 to authorize certain activities related to U.S. dollar-denominated bills as they relate to individual remittances and U.S. persons, respectively.

For identifying information about the individuals and entities designated today, as well as the new General License and FAQ, click here.