Moscow, Apr 6 (AFP) A new round of United States sanctions targeting oligarchs and businesses is “aimed at the Russian people,” Russia’s US embassy said today.

“We are told that these measures are not aimed against the Russian people, but they are,” the embassy said on its Facebook page, calling the measures “a new blow to Russo-American relations.” Washington today imposed new sanctions on seven oligarchs accused of supporting and profiting from what it said were Russian President Vladimir Putin’s efforts to undermine Western democracies.

Senior US officials described the measures as being aimed at Putin’s “inner circle” and said any assets held by the businessmen in areas under US jurisdiction would be frozen.

Those hit by sanctions include metals magnate Oleg Deripaska, described as operating for the Russian government, as well as Alexei Miller, director of state-owned energy giant Gazprom. (AFP) NSA

This is published unedited from the PTI feed.