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US sanctions hit one of UK's best-known Russian oligarchs

One of Britain's most well-known Russian oligarchs is among 38 targets in the latest round of US sanctions aimed at Vladimir Putin's inner circle.
Aluminum magnate Oleg Deripaska, who owns property in the UK, is accused by the White House of "directly or indirectly" acting on behalf of the Kremlin, along with six other tycoons, 17 officials and a dozen companies, including the state-run bank VTB.
Mr Deripaska, 50, is best known in Britain for hosting George Osborne for drinks on his yacht in 2008 - an invitation that sparked accusations, strongly denied, that the ex-Chancellor was tapping him up for a donation to party funds.
US sanctions hit one of UK's best-known Russian oligarchs

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Vladimir Putin with Mr Deripaska in Sochi in 2008
The Trump administration announced on Thursday that Mr Deripaska was among the individuals and firms being punished for the "ongoing and increasingly brazen pattern" of bad behaviour by Moscow, including accusations of involvement in the nerve agent attack in Salisbury and alleged interference in the 2016 presidential election.Mr Deripaska has been a prominent figure in US prosecutor Robert Mueller's investigation over his ties to the former chairman of the Trump campaign, Paul Manafort, and has been accused by the US Treasury Department of illegal wiretapping, extortion, racketeering, money laundering, and death threats against business rivals.Shares in his energy company, E+, dropped 19% on the London Stock Exchange on Friday as a result of the sanctions, which the Kremlin have dismissed as "absurdity".
US sanctions hit one of UK's best-known Russian oligarchs

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The Putin regime has promised a 'tough response' to the sanctions
The Russian Foreign Ministry promised a "tough response", adding that the US was jeopardising "thousands of jobs" for its own citizens by punishing companies with longstanding business ties in the country.
Americans who do business with targeted firms, including parts of Gazprom, will receive guidance on how to wind down that business and avoid running afoul of the sanctions, the White House said.Despite the latest sanctions, which took the number of people and entities linked with Russia to be punished since Mr Trump took office to 189, the White House has said discussions about a summit with Mr Putin would continue.
US sanctions hit one of UK's best-known Russian oligarchs

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Donald Trump still hopes to arrange a summit with Mr Putin
The two leaders spoke on the phone following Mr Putin's re-election in March, which saw Mr Trump offer his congratulations as well as a potential invite to the White House.Despite accusations that he was cosying up to his Russian counterpart, Mr Trump insisted on Tuesday that "nobody had been tougher" on Russia than he had since he was elected.
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Dozens of Russian diplomats were expelled from the US and the Russian consulate in Seattle was shut down in the wake of the Salisbury attack last month.In January, lists of Russian officials and oligarchs were published by the State Department and Treasury, which were seen as potential future sanctions targets.
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