USA sanctions Latvian citizen for supporting Russian military industry

The United States has imposed sanctions on a network that has engaged in circumventing sanctions to support Russia's military-industrial complex and also includes Latvian citizen Marks Blats and the company owned by him Elektrooptika, according to a release by the U.S. Department of the Treasury on February 1.

The U.S. Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) has imposed sanctions on 22 private and legal persons connected with a network to circumvent sanctions to support Russia's military-industrial complex. The latest sanctions are targeted at Russian arms dealer Igor Zimenkov, his son, Yonatan, and the companies of the so-called Zimenkov network in Singapore, Cyprus, Bulgaria, Israel, and elsewhere.

Sanctions are imposed on the Israeli-based Texel F.C.G. Technology 2100, the general manager of which is Latvian citizen Blats, who is described in a report by the US Department of the Treasury as a "high-level Zimenkov network associate and a business partner of sanctioned Belarusian individual Aliaksandr Zaitsau".

According to the Department of the Treasury, Texel has engaged in extensive funds transfers to Asia Trading. Among other projects connected to Russian defense capabilities, Texel and its CEO, Marks Blats, have supplied a Russian company with electro-optic and infrared devices following the start of Russia’s full-scale invasion of Ukraine in February 2022. 

OFAC also targeted the company owned by Blats Elektrooptika SIA, registered in 2013 and providing business services.

The inclusion in the sanctions list means that the property and property rights of those individuals in the U.S. are being blocked.

All assets belonging directly or indirectly to one or more persons subject to sanctions shall also be blocked. Any dealings with persons subject to sanctions shall only be possible with a special OFAC authorization.

Information from shows that OFAC sanctions are imposed on both Elektrooptika and Blats as an official, the owner and true beneficiary of the company. The company also had a tax debt of EUR 2,608 on January 9 this year.

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