The sanctions are being carried out as part of an amendment to the Executive Order signed by President Barack Obama in 2015.

The Trump administration imposed the new sanctions—the first the administration has imposed under the Countering America's Adversaries Through Sanctions Act (CAATSA), which was passed by Congress last year—a month after officially blaming Russian intelligence for the NotPetya worm.

Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin announced the sanctions, explaining that "the administration is confronting and countering malign Russian cyber activity, including their attempted interference in US elections, destructive cyber-attacks, and intrusions targeting critical infrastructure."

The new sanctions, he said, are part of "a broader effort to address the ongoing nefarious attacks emanating from Russia.

The election interference, the NotPetya attack, and the nerve-agent attack against a former Russian spy in Britain were cited as the reasons for the new sanctions, along with Russia's actions in Crimea and Ukraine.

The new sanctions are aimed at officials of Russia's GRU intelligence agency, as well as at people and organizations indicted by Special Counsel Robert Mueller's investigation: the Internet Research Agency (IRA), Concord Management and Consulting, Concord Catering, and their owner Yevgeny Prigozhin—the man known as "Putin's Chef"—as well as 12 other individuals tied to IRA.

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