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Russian oligarch Herman Gref, a key Putin advisor and CEO of Russia's largest bank, has been added to US sanctions list

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Russian President Vladimir Putin and Sberbank's President Herman Gref seen during a wreath laying ceremony at the monument to politician Anatoly Sobchak on February 19, 2020
Russian President Vladimir Putin (right) and Sberbank's President Herman Gref.Mikhail Svetlov/Getty Images
  • Herman Gref is the CEO of Sberbank, Russia's largest financial company.

  • The US Department of the Treasury added him to the list of sanctioned individuals on Thursday.

  • Gref has been a key advisor to Putin since they started working together in the 1990s.

The US Department of the Treasury has added a key Russian financial sector official and close confidant to Vladimir Putin to its list of sanctioned individuals.

In a press release on Thursday, the Treasury took action against Herman Gref, the CEO of Russia's largest financial institution, as part of efforts "to impose severe costs on the Russian Federation for its illegal, unwarranted, and baseless war against Ukraine," the statement read.

"Gref is being designated today for being or having been a leader, official, senior executive officer, or a member of the board of directors of the Government of the Russian Federation (GoR)," it added.

According to the US Treasury Department, he occupied various and increasingly senior roles, "including at the St. Petersburg Mayor's office." He served as Russia's minister of economic development and trade from 2000 to 2007, and has been Sberbank's CEO and chairman since 2007, per Bloomberg.

Sberbank, a state-owned banking and financial services company, is Russia's largest bank. Per Forbes, it was rated among the world's best banks in 2019 but dropped off in 2020.

Insider previously reported that gold transactions between Americans and Russia are prohibited, according to a US Treasury Department notice, which cited executive orders signed by President Joe Biden.

In the US Treasury Department notice on Thursday, it stated that it added to the sanctions list 328 members of the Duma – which is the Russian Parliament's lower chamber. The Duma approved a resolution asking Putin to recognize DNR and LNR as independent states, though they are part of Ukraine.

Insider's Kate Duffy previously reported that sanctioned Russian oligarch Petr Aven says he's struggling to pay bills and isn't sure he can employ a cleaner or driver. In early March, Aven stepped down from the $22 billion investment firm LetterOne, which he cofounded with Mikhail Fridman, another sanctioned Russian oligarch.

Read the original article on Business Insider