U.S. sanctions close Putin aide over rights abuse

Jan 10, 2017, 6:30 AM EST
Russian President Vladimir Putin
(Source: Global Panorama/flickr)

The worsening Moscow-Washington ties suffered another blow on Monday after the Obama administration sanctioned five prominent Russians, including chief federal investigator Alexander Bastrykin, a close aide of President Vladimir Putin, over charges of human rights abuses.

The move that comes just days after the U.S. expelled 35 Russian diplomats could be the last visible act against Moscow before power is transferred in Washington, writes The New York Times.

Among the sanctioned are two men wanted in the U.K. for the murder of Russian dissident Alexander Litvinenko, notes the BBC. The blacklisted people have their U.S. assets blocked and are prohibited from traveling to the U.S.

Recently, the U.S.-Russia ties have touched new low amid allegations that Moscow ran a cyber attack to influence America’s presidential election in favor of the then Republican candidate Donald Trump.