The United States and its allies, after several weeks of issuing sanctions on Russia's biggest companies and political leaders for the war in Ukraine, has, according to The Wall Street Journal, spared at the last minute, Russian President Vladimir Putin's reported girlfriend and former rhythmic gymnastic Olympian, Alina Kabaeva.
The belief among U.S. officials is that Kabaeva, the reported mother to at least three of Putin's children, is that sanctioning her would be such a blow to the Russian president that it could further escalate tensions between Russia and the West.
According to anonymous U.S. officials, the Treasury Department prepared the sanctions against Kabaeva. But at the 11th hour, the National Security Council, which signs off on sanction packages prepared by the Treasury Department, decided to pull her name from a list set to be announced.
"We have prepared sanctions on a number of people who haven't yet been sanctioned, and we continue to think about when to impose those sanctions for maximum impact," a U.S. official told the Journal.
Later a U.S. official added that such sanctions against Kabaeva were not off the table.,
On April 6, a representative of jailed Russian opposition leader, Alexei Navalny, urged lawmakers in the U.S. to impose sanctions on Kabaeva, alleging she was hiding Putin's personal wealth.
Kabaeva left the Russian parliament in 2014 to pursue a position as chairwoman for New Media Group, a Russian company that controls major pro-government TV, radio shows, and news websites. According to a leak of her 2018 tax return, Kabaeva's annual salary was $12 million.
An official from the U.S. Treasury's Office of Foreign Assets Control said that there is a chance that Putin could "respond in an aggressive way" if Kabaeva is sanctioned.
© 2024 Newsmax. All rights reserved.