United States hits Russian Federation with new sanctions, Moscow calls it `inadequacy`

There are now 44 Russians subject to US sanctions.

Moscow has dismissed the inquiry "opaque" and "politically motivated".

The biggest name on the administration's sanctions list is Alexander I. Bastrykin, the government's chief public investigator, who reports directly to Putin and has carried out an array of political investigations on his behalf. It called Russian activities the "boldest effort yet" to influence a USA election, and said the Russian government provided emails to WikiLeaks - something Assange denied again on Monday.

The Treasury and the Department of State announced in a press release that they will add other three names on their so-called Magnitski list - Aleksandr Bastrikin, the chairman of the Investigative Russian Committee, Andrei Lugovoi and Dmitri Kovtun. "They do not come from the Russian government".

He has less flexibility with sanctions applied under the Magnitsky Act, which Obama signed into law after it passed in both houses of Congress with overwhelming bipartisan support. He also has been implicated in several other human rights abuses.

There was no immediate response from Russian officials to the new sanctions.

Moscow has repeatedly rejected the accusations, over which Washington last month expelled 35 Russian diplomats allegedly involved in espionage and due to what Obama said was "harassment" of United States diplomats in Russia.

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The sanctions were part of the so called Magnitsky Act - the list of personal sanctions imposed by the USA on several-dozen Russian citizens allegedly involved in the death of Sergey Magnitsky in 2009.

The report, for the first time, explicitly tied Putin to the hackings.

In a January 9 tweet, Browder called the announcement of the new sanctions "great news".

Russian investigators ruled there was nothing criminal in Magnitsky's death.

Ozerov said he hoped that once in power, Trump will revise the list of officials targeted by the Magnitsky Act. They also said that the move was merely an attempt to influence justice in a sovereign country, as an investigation into Magnitsky's death has shown that he died due to his extremely poor health, while two prison doctors were tried and sentenced for allowing this to happen.

President-elect Donald Trump has said that when he takes office in less than two weeks, he plans to work toward forging a warmer working relationship with Putin. Trump adviser Kellyanne Conway reaffirmed on Monday that Trump plans to ease US sanctions against Russian Federation upon taking office later this month.

  • Megan Austin