The United States Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) announced sanctions on four individuals earlier this month in response to alleged interference with the United States elections process.
All four individuals have demonstrable links to the Kremlin in Russia. Andrii Derkach was sanctioned for leading a Russian misinformation campaign designed to culminate before the upcoming November 3 Election Day. The alleged purpose of the campaign was to influence American voters into helping to perpetuate Russian interests in Ukraine. Derkach is said to have maintained close ties with Russian intelligence, which further suggests a broader Russian-backed campaign to influence the American democratic process.
The other three individuals sanctioned were Artem Lifshits, Anton Andreyev, and Darya Aslanova. All three were linked to the troll farm Internet Research Agency, supporting its cryptocurrency accounts, and therefore facilitating and funding its ongoing campaign of misinformation designed to influence the views of American viewers into helping further Russian interests. Additionally, the Internet Research Agency is owned and operated by Kremlin-linked oligarch Yevgeniy Prigozhin – once again suggesting a broader campaign to misinform and mislead.
In their statement announcing these sanctions, OFAC said that “the United States will not hesitate to use all tools of national power to respond to foreign actors that seek to interfere in or otherwise influence our elections by any means.” Indeed, this is only the latest in a line of sanctions imposed on entities and Kremlin-linked individuals (such as the aforementioned Internet Research Agency, and its owner Prigozhin).
Any organization conducting business around the world would do well to make sure that they are screening against denied parties. Failure to comply with OFAC sanctions may, after all, lead to you or your organization getting sanctioned as well. Having a solution that screens against OFAC (and other screening lists from around the world), such as Descartes Visual Compliance, can help your organization keep pace with all these regulatory changes, and help ensure compliance on an ongoing basis.