On September 10, the United States imposed sanctions on Andrii Derkach and other Russian agents for attempting to influence the U.S. electoral process, according to the U.S. Embassy in Kyiv.
"Derkach maintains close connections with the Russian Intelligence Services and has served as an active Russian agent for over a decade, employing manipulation and deceit to attempt to influence elections in the United States and elsewhere around the world. Today, we would like to remind individuals and businesses what these sanctions mean," reads the statement by Embassy Spokesperson Daniel Langenkam."
A message on the implications of U.S. sanctions on Russia-linked individuals for attempting to influence the U.S. electoral process from Spokesperson Daniel Langenkamp. For the full statement: https://t.co/vDnYOu5fnDpic.twitter.com/mily0vsI7m— U.S. Embassy Kyiv (@USEmbassyKyiv) October 5, 2020
Persons who provide material support to designated individuals and/or entities could themselves become subject to designation, the statement elaborates.
Also, entities owned by a blocked person "may also be considered blocked persons."
The explanation adds that the property and interests in property of such an entity are blocked regardless of whether the entity itself is sanctioned.
"The United States will remain vigilant in its efforts to uphold the integrity of our democracy, and the United States will continue to use all the tools at our disposal to counter these activities similar or linked to those of Andrii Derkach or other sanctioned individuals," the statement concludes.
Derkach sanctions: Background
On September 10, U.S. Treasury imposed sanctions on Ukrainian MP Andriy Derkach.
It said Derkach had "directly or indirectly engaged in, sponsored, concealed, or otherwise been complicit in foreign interference in an attempt to undermine the upcoming 2020 U.S. presidential election."
The move to introduce sanctions, U.S. officials say, is focused on "exposing Russian malign influence campaigns and protecting our upcoming elections from foreign interference.
Derkach’s "election influence efforts," as per U.S. Treasury
- The U.S. officials say Derkach waged a "covert influence campaign" – from at least late 2019 through mid-2020 – centered on cultivating "false and unsubstantiated narratives" concerning U.S. officials in the upcoming 2020 presidential election.
- His efforts aimed to spur corruption investigations in both Ukraine and the United States "designed to culminate prior to election day."
- The narratives were pushed in Western media through coverage of press conferences and other news events, including interviews and statements, the statement adds.
- Between May and July 2020, Derkach released "edited audio tapes and other unsupported information with the intent to discredit U.S. officials." Also, the U.S. Treasury says, he "levied unsubstantiated allegations against U.S. and international political figures."
- Derkach "almost certainly targeted" the U.S. voting populace, prominent U.S. citizens, including members of the U.S. government, "based on his reliance on U.S. platforms, English-language documents and videos, and pro-Russian lobbyists in the United States used to propagate his claims."