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US Creates Target List Of 50 Russian Elites

US Creates Target List Of 50 Russian Elites

The United States has given a new international taskforce a list of 50 Russian elites whose assets are set to be hunted down and seized.

The United States has given a new international taskforce a list of 50 Russian elites whose assets are set to be hunted down and seized by officials.

The list of officials was composed by officials at the Treasury Department, and is said to consist of Russian oligarchs viewed by the US as the 'top priorities' for enforcing sanctions.

It was handed to the Russian Elites, Proxies and Oligarchs task force (REPO), a brand new international body established to help countries to identify and track down assets belonging to sanctioned high profile Russians. The task force is set to pool the law enforcement resources of more than half a dozen countries.

Vladimir Putin.

The task force, which includes representatives from the US, Australia, Canada, Germany, France, Italy, Japan, the UK and the EU, held its first meeting earlier this week, and is expected to launch efforts to find hidden overseas assets belonging to Russia's financial elites that have been obscured to avoid seizure.

'[The] Treasury’s priority is right now is expanding the global reach of the individuals who have already been sanctioned by US review, and I think they’re giving countries the opportunity to say they’re joining an international effort,' former department official Daniel Glaser told The Washington Post of the plans for the international task force.

28 of the 50 names of the United States' list have been released publicly, including President Vladimir Putin, Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov, and billionaire industry titan Alisher Usmanov.

The rest are understood to have been kept confidential amid fears that oligarchs may attempt to move assets outside of the task force's jurisdiction if they know they're being targeted by the US.

Russian yacht seized by French officials.

The Brookings Institution think tank estimates that more than 200 Russians have been sanctioned by the US since the country began its invasion of Ukraine three weeks ago, with the EU having sanctioned more than double that number.

Several countries, including France, Italy and Germany, have already seen their police forces move to seize tangible assets like homes and boats belonging to sanctioned oligarchs.

The sanctions directed at oligarchs and top-level Kremlin officials are viewed by some as more effective than restrictions placed on national institutions like Russia's central bank, as they target those close to Putin without having wider repercussions for ordinary Russian citizens.

A separate task force, called Task Force KleptoCapture, has been set up by the Justice Department to combine US law enforcement agencies working on the sanctions programme.

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Featured Image Credit: Alamy

Topics: Russia, Ukraine, World News, US News