Date
23 October 2017
A Ukrainian border guard checks a car at a checkpoint near the Ukraine-Russia border. Washington has expanded its sanctions against Russia for supporting a separatist rebellion in eastern Ukraine. Photo: AFP
A Ukrainian border guard checks a car at a checkpoint near the Ukraine-Russia border. Washington has expanded its sanctions against Russia for supporting a separatist rebellion in eastern Ukraine. Photo: AFP

Rule change makes more companies vulnerable to US sanctions

The US Treasury Department has announced a rule change that allows it to blacklist companies even partly owned by individuals sanctioned by the US government, Reuters reported.

The agency, which is responsible for applying and enforcing US sanctions, can blacklist any company in which a US-sanctioned individual owned at least a 50 percent stake.

But under the new rule, companies could see their assets frozen and be prevented from doing business in the United States if the aggregate shareholdings of all individuals sanctioned by the US government reached the 50 percent threshold.

This means any company owned by at least two of the three US-sanctioned Russian billionaires — Gennady Timchenko and Boris and Arkady Rotenberg, for example — could be blacklisted even if each stakeholder only had a 25 percent interest, according to the wire agency.

The US added the three allies of Russian President Vladimir Putin to its sanctions list in March after Russia annexed Ukraine’s Crimea region.

In recent months, US sanctions were expanded to include Russian banks as well as energy and defense companies in a bid to punish Russia for supporting a separatist rebellion in eastern Ukraine, the report said.

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