WASHINGTON, Sept 10 - The US Treasury Department on Thursday announced new sanctions against a Ukrainian lawmaker, accusing him of being an "active Russian agent" who is part of Moscow's interference in the 2020 campaign, CNN reported.
The controversial Ukrainian lawmaker, Andriy Derkach, a member of pro-Russian group in Parliament, was singled out earlier this summer by the US intelligence community for helping Moscow's ongoing efforts to influence the U.S. presidential election.
"Andriy Derkach and other Russian agents employ manipulation and deceit to attempt to influence elections in the United States and elsewhere around the world," Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said in a statement Thursday, which was included in a Treasury announcement that said Derkach "has been an active Russian agent for over a decade" and maintained "close connections with the Russian intelligence services."
"The United States will continue to use all the tools at its disposal to counter these Russian disinformation campaigns and uphold the integrity of our election system," Mnuchin added.
The announcement on Thursday was an extraordinary step by the US government to publicly condemn Russia's ongoing interference in the 2020 election. It shows how the US government is cracking down on Russia's meddling.
The Treasury Department said Derkach has waged a years-long "covert influence campaign" that centered on "cultivating false and unsubstantiated narratives concerning US officials in the upcoming 2020 Presidential Election."
Derkach has been added to a list of Specially Designated Nationals, meaning his assets have been blocked and "US persons are generally prohibited from dealing with them," according to the Treasury Department.
Derkach is among a small group of Ukrainian political figures who have, over the past year, injected themselves into the 2020 election by promoting dubious claims of corruption against Democratic nominee Joe Biden and releasing alleged audiotapes from Biden's diplomatic work as vice president. (cnn/ez)