President Trump imposed harsh new sanctions on Russian nationals and entities Friday; ratcheting up the pressure on Vladimir Putin just days after he expelled nearly 60 American diplomats.
The Trump administration imposed strict sanctions against seven Russian businessmen and over a dozen government officials in the White House’s latest round of penalties following the Kremlin’s interference in the 2016 presidential election.
“The sanctions are designed to penalize some of Russia’s richest industrialists, who are seen in the West as enriching themselves from Mr. Putin’s increasingly authoritarian administration,” writes the New York Times.
“The Russian government operates for the disproportionate benefit of oligarchs and government elites,” said Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin. “Russian oligarchs and elites who profit from this corrupt system will no longer be insulated from the consequences of their government’s destabilizing activities.”
COLD WAR 2: Putin Unveils ‘INVINCIBLE’ Missile, Says US ‘FAILED’ to Contain Russia
Russian President Vladimir Putin raised eyebrows throughout Washington Thursday, unveiling a new intercontinental ballistic missile he referred to as “invincible” and saying the United States “failed to contain” Russia’s military expansion and global ambitions.
Putin was speaking at his annual ‘State of the Nation’ speech when he pulled back the curtain on his new missile arsenal, claiming the “hypersonic” weapon can’t be intercepted by US defenses.
“I want to tell all those who have fueled the arms race over the last 15 years, sought to win unilateral advantages over Russia, introduced unlawful sanctions aimed to contain our country’s development: all what you wanted to impede with your policies have already happened,” he said. “You have failed to contain Russia.”
Putin went on to directly threaten the US and European powers, adding that any “nuclear attack” on a Russian ally would be treated as a direct assault on Russia itself; a likely reference to the ongoing Syrian civil war.
“We would consider any use of nuclear weapons against Russia or its allies to be a nuclear attack on our country. The response would be immediate,” he added.
RUSSIAN REJECTS: The President DEPORTS DOZENS of Russian Diplomats
President Trump officially expelled over 60 Russian agents Monday morning; shuttering a Seattle consulate and booting the Kremlin-backed diplomats over Vladimir Putin’s illegal assassination plot on British soil last week.
The United States and its European allies announced the joint decision in response to Russia’s use of a deadly nerve agent to eliminate a former spy earlier this month; the first use of a chemical weapon on European soil since the end of the Second World War.
According to Yahoo News, the diplomats will have just seven days to leave the US.
“With these steps, the United States and our allies and partners make clear to Russia that its actions have consequences,” said a statement from White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders.
The move comes just days after the United Kingdom expelled 23 Russian agents from its borders; following a heated exchange between British Prime Minister Theresa May and Russian President Vladimir Putin.
The Russian government denies any responsibility for the attack; demanding to see evidence from British officials.