2014-04-14T212133Z_1_CBREA3D1NCY00_RTROPTP_2_USA-SANCTIONS

After success on Iran, U.S. Treasury's sanctions team faces new challenges

Office of Foreign Assets Control Director Szubin and his staff meet at U.S. Treasury Department in WashingtonBut the meeting one recent morning convened deep within the Treasury Department, not the Pentagon. The weapons at hand were not drones or cruise missiles, but financial sanctions, aimed with similar precision at U.S. rivals’ economic interests. Before discussing possible next steps against Russia over its annexation of Crimea, Adam Szubin, the slim, boyish-looking director of Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC), thanked his team for putting in a string of sleepless nights to devise sanctions against senior Russian officials and associates of President Vladimir Putin. The measures, rolled out in three executive orders signed by President Barack Obama in March, included blocking the Russians and Bank Rossiya, Russia’s 17th-largest bank, from access to the U.S. financial system and freezing their U.S. assets.

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