US allows ‘certain transactions’ in LNR and DNR – RT Russia and the former Soviet Union

The Treasury Department authorized American non-governmental actors to do humanitarian work in the Donbass

The United States Treasury Department has authorized non-governmental organizations (NGOs) to conduct humanitarian activities, including “building democracy” in the Donetsk People’s Republic (DPR) and the Lugansk People’s Republic (LPR) – which were recognized by Moscow as independent states last month.

In a statement Friday announcing new sanctions against Russian individuals and businesses, the Treasury Department revealed that its Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) had issued a license “to authorize certain transactions” in the CMA and the LPR.

NGOs will now be allowed to engage in “activities related to humanitarian projects aimed at meeting basic human needs, building democracy, education, non-commercial development projects and protecting the environment and natural resources” in both republics, which the United States considers Ukrainian territory.

The Treasury Department explained that the license is “the latest in a series of Ukraine-related blanket licenses that authorize U.S. persons to support certain humanitarian efforts and other activities in the DNR and LNR regions of Ukraine.”

U.S. citizens and entities are also permitted to perform work related to the export of agricultural and medicinal products, the response to the Covid-19 pandemic, and telecommunications.

In the same statement on Friday, the US Treasury Department announced sanctions against Russian billionaire businessman Viktor Vekselberg, officials of Russia’s VTB bank, lawmakers and the family of already sanctioned Kremlin press secretary Dmitry Peskov, including his wife and children.

The Treasury Department accused Peskov’s family of living “luxurious lifestyles that are incongruous with Peskov’s civil servant salary.” Peskov’s wife, Tatiana Aleksandrovna Navka, was a famous ice dancer and Olympic champion before marrying Peskov in 2015 and winning a gold medal representing Russia in 2006.

Moscow attacked its neighbor in late February, after a seven-year standoff over Ukraine’s failure to implement the terms of the Minsk agreements and Russia’s eventual recognition of the Donbass republics in Donetsk and Lugansk. The protocols negotiated by Germany and France were designed to regularize the status of these regions within the Ukrainian state.

Russia has now demanded that Ukraine officially declare itself a neutral country that will never join the US-led NATO military bloc. Kiev insists the Russian offensive was unprovoked and has denied claims it planned to retake the two republics by force.

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