The administration of U.S. President Joe Biden has imposed sanctions against four citizens of Ukraine—former and current pMembers of Parliament—for their "harmful external activities in favor of the Russian Federation." This refers to the MPs from the Opposition Platform—for Life (OPFL) Taras Kozak and Oleh Voloshyn and former members of the Party of Regions Volodymyr Oliynyk and Vladimir Sivkovich (former Deputy Secretary of the Ukrainian National Security and Defense Council).
According to the US Department of the Treasury, these persons act "under the instructions form the FSB of the Russian Federation."
"These four individuals have played various roles in Russia’s global campaign to destabilize sovereign countries in support of the Kremlin’s political objectives. The United States will continue to take steps, through actions like this one, and in partnership with the Ukrainian government, to identify, expose, and undercut Russia’s destabilization efforts," the statement reads.
Why sanctions have been imposed:
- Viktor Medvedchuk’s associates—Kozak and Voloshyn—are considered guilty of recruiting current and former Ukrainian government officials to undermine the positions of the current government of Ukraine and protect the interests of the Kremlin. They were also accused of spreading false information about the U.S. 2020 elections.
- Sivkovich collaborated with a network of Russian intelligence agents in 2021 to conduct "influence operations" to gain Ukrainian support for the official cede Crimea to Moscow in exchange for the drawdown of troops from the occupied Donbas. He was also accused of promoting false information about the U.S. presidential election in 2020.
- Oliynyk, "who has always been a supporter of Russia", was working under the instructions from the FSB in 2021 to gather information about Ukraine's critical infrastructure. According to the Department of the Treasury, he coordinated the promotion of a disinformation campaign against the U.S. 2020 presidential election in 2020 with Russian intelligence agencies.
Context. The sanctions are imposed on grounds that the world leaders are preparing for a possible Russian invasion of Ukraine and are working with allies to keep the Kremlin from attacking. However, the Department of the Treasury states that the new measures are "separate and different" from a number of "significant" economic and financial sanctions that the U.S. is threatening to impose on Russia if it continues its aggression against Ukraine.