11:33 GMT06 March 2021
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    Russia's deputy foreign minister on Wednesday said Moscow did not understand new US sanctions against Russia over Syria and Washington should stop playing "geopolitical games."

    "It is clear that this is a new, complicated moment in relations," Sergei Ryabkov said.

    The United States sanctioned 10 targets it has accused of supporting Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, including those who allegedly helped the Syrian government buy oil from Islamic State militants, Reuters reported.

    The US Treasury Department said it has frozen US assets of four people and six entities, including a Russian bank. Additionally, Americans will be prohibited from doing business with the targets.

    The sanctions target Russian Financial Alliance Bank for its role in financial transactions with the Syrian government as well as two individuals linked to the bank, Mudalal Khuri and Kirsan Ilyumzhinov, the Treasury Department said in a statement obtained by Reuters.

    Ilyumzhinov is a former president of the autonomous Russian Republic of Kalmykia and a long-serving president of the World Chess Federation.

    The sanctions also target a Syrian businessman, George Haswani, who the department said "serves as a middleman for oil purchases by the Syrian regime" from Islamic State, the department said.

    "The United States will continue targeting the finances of all those enabling Assad to continue inflicting violence on the Syrian people," Adam Szubin, acting Under Secretary for Terrorism and Financial Intelligence, said in the statement.

    Others targeted by the new sanctions include other entities owned or controlled by Khuri, among other targets, the department said.

    Oil, Daesh, sanctions, US Treasury Department, Bashar al-Assad, Kirsan Ilyumzhinov, Sergei Ryabkov, Syria, US, Russia
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