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Trump administration announces Russia sanctions for ‘attacks to subvert Western democracies’

President Trump and Russian President Vladimir Putin attend the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation summit in Da Nang, Vietnam in November.
(Mikhail Klimentyev / European Pressphoto Agency)

The Trump administration on Friday announced new sanctions against seven Russian oligarchs, 12 companies and 17 senior government officials for a variety of acts, including what one official called “attacks to subvert Western democracies.”

“Russian oligarchs and elites who profit from this corrupt system will no longer be insulated from the consequences of their government’s destabilizing activities.” Treasury Secretary Steven T. Mnuchin said in a news release.

Mnuchin criticized the Russian government for engaging in “a range of malign activity around the globe, including continuing to occupy Crimea and instigate violence in eastern Ukraine, supplying the Assad regime with material and weaponry as they bomb their own civilians, attempting to subvert Western democracies, and malicious cyber activities.”

Mnuchin cited Russia’s government for engaging in “a range of malign activity around the globe, including continuing to occupy Crimea and instigate violence in eastern Ukraine, supplying the Assad regime with material and weaponry as they bomb their own civilians, attempting to subvert Western democracies, and malicious cyber activities.”

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President Trump has spoken of his desire to meet with Russian President Vladimir Putin and has at times spoken warmly of him. But he has also insisted his administration has been tough on the regime.

The issue is difficult for Trump, given that intelligence officials have concluded that Russia meddled in the 2016 election and several Trump campaign officials have been under investigation for potential collusion.

“This administration has been clear that the door to dialogue with Russia is open,” said one senior administration official who briefed reporters on the condition of anonymity. “That can only happen when Russia stops its aggressive behavior.”

Administration officials had previously sanctioned more than 100 individuals and entities with ties to the Russian government.

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