The U.S. Treasury Department announced the imposition of restrictive measures against three Russians, five ships and one Russian company due to violations of the sanctions regime against Syria. According to a statement on the Agency’s website, they participated in a scheme to evade the sanctions on jet fuel supplies to Russian forces operating in Syria.
In the sanctions list includes the Russian Ilya Loginov, Ivan Hams and Karen Stepanyan, which the Agency considers employees of the company “Sovfracht”, of the court OT-2077, “IDE”, “SIG”, “pike” and “Passat”, owned by “Transperant” and the company “Maritime assistance” that the US Treasury has called a fake firm associated with “Sovfracht”. First Deputy General Director of the company “Sovfraht” Karen Stepanyan reported “Interfax”, he was not surprised new sanctions against the company: “Sovfracht” and “Transperant” are under sanctions by the U.S. in 2016.
The scheme of sanctions has identified the Office for foreign assets control of the U.S. Treasury (OFAC) in cooperation with the FBI and the Prosecutor’s office for the district of Columbia. “The FBI is proud to be a part of the team that figured out this elaborate scheme to supply fuel for the Russian jet fighters supporting the Assad regime,” said FBI special agent Alan Kohler. U.S. Secretary of state Mike Pompeo added that the U.S. Treasury has made the Russian company “for supporting the brutal Assad’s military machine and oil supplies to Russian military forces” in the framework of the campaign “maximum pressure” on Syria.
The Russian foreign Ministry called Washington’s decision “political foolishness”. According to a statement on the Ministry’s website, aviation fuel, delivery of which has provided a “Sovfrakht”, was intended for units of the Russian space forces, which help to fight terrorist groups and the new Washington decision – “actual support to terrorists.” “The illegibility of the official Washington in the media, annoying desire to harm Russia instead of joining efforts in countering terrorism can be costly to the American people, not just the victim of this scourge,” added the foreign Ministry, saying that Russia “sanctions are not present anything new”, and the fight against terrorists in Syria will continue.
We will remind, in June 2018, the US justice Department has filed claims against five employees of the company “Sovfraht” in connection with the supply of aviation fuel to Syria. Later, in November 2018, the United States also imposed sanctions because of suspicions in the supply of Iranian oil to Syria against the two companies from Russia – Global Vision Group and “Promsyreimport”. At the request of Washington, under sanctions could be all those involved in the supply of oil to Syria.