A Chinese military agency and its director are facing US sanctions over the purchase of Russian weapons, the State Department announced Thursday. China's Equipment Development Department and director Li Shangfu made a "significant transaction" involving the purchase of Russian combat aircraft and surface-to-air missiles, State Department spokeswoman Heather Nauert said in a statement. The purchase violated a 2017 law intended to punish the government of Vladimir Putin for interfering in US elections and other activities, per the AP. The sanctions were enacted "to further impose costs on the Russian government in response to its malign activities," Nauert said
Anyone engaging with Russian defense contractors or people associated with them can face economic sanctions that include prohibitions from entering the US or from conducting transactions with the US financial system under the Countering America's Adversaries Through Sanctions Act. As part of Thursday's announcement, the US also added 33 names to a list of people who could trigger sanctions for their ties to the Russian military. Some of those newly added were indicted in connection with special counsel Robert Mueller's investigation into Russian election interference, according to administration officials who briefed reporters on the decision on condition that they are not identified by name.
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