Kremlin Fury After Russian Governor Alexander Ussin’s Son Arrested in Italy on US Charges

The Kremlin It is threatening retaliation after authorities arrested Artyom Uss, the son of a top Russian official, at the request of the United States, for allegedly participating in an sanctions evasion and money laundering scheme.

Uss, who was detained in Milan, was charged in connection with the illegal acquisition scheme. US military technology And Venezuela allowed oil to support it Russia’s war effort in UkraineThat’s according to indictments unsealed by the U.S. Department of Justice this week.

“We categorically oppose this and we condemn this practice of arresting Russian citizens,” a Kremlin spokesman said. Dmitry Peskov said.

Uz’s father, Alexander Uz, the governor of Russia’s Krasnoyarsk region, has suggested the arrest was politically motivated. Toss.

Another Russian government spokeswoman, Maria Zakharova, said Moscow would not leave the US search for the Russians “unanswered” and accused the US of holding hostages for “political purposes”.

The Uss is not the only accused in the money laundering and smuggling scheme. Uss co-owned a trading company called Nord-Deutsche Industrieanlagenbau GmbH (NDA GmbH), which he and his co-conspirators allegedly pioneered to ship US defense technology to Russia.

Uss and co-conspirators were accused of using NDA GmbH to ship advanced semiconductors and microprocessors for Russia’s fighter jets, missile systems, smart munitions, radar and satellites.

“Some of the same electronic components obtained through the criminal program were found on Russian weapons platforms captured on the battlefield in Ukraine,” the Justice Department said in a statement, adding that the accused had created a “sophisticated network.” It undermined security, economic stability and the rule of law around the world.

A group of co-conspirators allegedly funneled hundreds of millions of barrels of oil from Venezuela to Russian and Chinese companies, including at least one sanctioned oligarch.

The 12-count indictment charged a total of five Russian nationals, including Yuri Orekov, Svetlana Kusurgasheva, Timofey Telekin and Sergey Tulyakov. Juan Fernando Serrano Ponce and Juan Carlos Soto were accused of setting up illegal oil contracts for Venezuela’s state oil company Petroleos de Venezuela SA.

According to court documents, one of the co-conspirators openly admitted that NDA GmbH was working for the sanctioned oligarchs.

“He [the oligarch] is under sanctions,” Orekov said. “That’s why we are [are] Operates from this company [NDA GmbH]. to the front.”

Russia has long helped Venezuela avoid sanctions around the world. But the latest allegations expose the layers of US sanctions on both Russia and Venezuela.

The U.S. has sanctioned Venezuela for more than 15 years, and in recent years has imposed restrictions on the Venezuelan government’s oil company and other companies to pressure Venezuelan dictator Nicolas Maduro from power.

The United States and other countries have imposed sanctions on Russian banks in recent months in an effort to isolate Moscow on the world stage while attacking Ukraine. Affected Venezuela’s ability to access assets, according to the Congressional Research Service. But High oil prices According to CRS, Venezuela’s economic recovery is taking its toll from Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

Task Force Klepto Capture, a judicial group established earlier this year aimed at punishing Russia for its war in Ukraine and enforcing sanctions on Russian oligarchs, announced the charges along with other DOJ agencies.

“Tapping into the evasion of export controls on military technology is one of the task force’s highest priorities,” Andrew Adams, director of Task Force Klepto Capture, said in a statement. “Webs of shell companies, cryptocurrency and an international network of fraudsters failed to protect Orekov and his associates from the apprehension of US law enforcement.”

It’s unclear what Russia will do in response to Uzz’s arrest.

White House spokeswoman Karine Jean-Pierre declined to speculate when asked Thursday if Uss’ arrest was related to negotiations to free Brittney Griner from Russia.

“The president is willing to take extraordinary measures to bring Americans home,” Jean-Pierre told a news conference.

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