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WASHINGTON — President Biden’s administration on Thursday sanctioned more Russian oligarchs — but continued to spare two billionaires who worked with first son Hunter Biden to find US property investments.
The omissions came two days after House Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) launched an impeachment inquiry into the president, accusing him of lying about his links to Hunter’s foreign dealings.
The Treasury Department said that it was “imposing nearly 100 sanctions on Russian elites and Russia’s industrial base, financial institutions, and technology suppliers as the United States continues to leverage sanctions and economic restrictions to undermine Russia’s capacity to wage its war against Ukraine.”
Oligarchs Yelena Baturina and Vladimir Yevtushenkov weren’t among the new targets — even though they have similarities to other newly sanctioned businesspeople.
Those include Russian billionaires Andrei Bokarev, president of Russian military equipment manufacturer Transmash, and Iskander Makhmudov, who owns financial services and mining companies.
Bokarev and Makhmudov previously were sanctioned by the UK, the Treasury Department noted — just like Hunter-linked Yevtushenkov.
Baturina, the former first lady of Moscow, assembled her $1.3 billion fortune through real estate and investments and dined with Hunter Biden and then-Vice President Joe Biden at least once at DC’s Café Milano. For reasons that remain unclear, she transferred $3.5 million in February 2014 to a firm controlled by Hunter and his associate Devon Archer.
Baturina attended a previously unknown dinner with then-Vice President Biden and Hunter’s Kazakhstani associates in spring 2014 at Café Milano, Archer told the House Oversight Committee on July 31.
She also supped in April 2015 at the same restaurant with Joe and Hunter Biden and the then-second son’s Ukrainian and Kazakhstani patrons, an eyewitness told The Post. She was discussed as an invitee to that meal in records found on Hunter’s abandoned laptop.
Hunter met at least twice with Yevtushenkov, according to records from his laptop. Yevtushenkov’s company Sistema controls Russia’s largest cellphone provider, MTS, and until last year owned Russian rocket and radar-maker RTI and military drone-maker Kronstadt.
“I think he should be sanctioned,” Michael McFaul, a former US ambassador to Russia under President Barack Obama, told The Post in March. “I don’t understand why he has not been.”
Yevtushenkov allegedly sought to work with Hunter Biden due to a Justice Department investigation of MTS for paying nearly $1 billion in bribes to Uzbekistani officials between 2004 and 2012.
Yevtushenkov has acknowledged meeting Hunter Biden at the Ritz-Carlton in Manhattan in March 2012 and laptop records indicate they met again in January 2013 in DC before looking at a commercial real estate development the next day in northern Virginia.
“I asked [Yevtushenkov], ‘Why are you doing this?’ on the front end — before I understood that they were going to buy some real estate,” a source told The Post. “‘Why are you even doing this? Why would you be paying the son of the vice president to meet at a public restaurant in New York City?’
“He made it very clear to me that, you know … ‘I think it would be good to have a good relationship with this guy … maybe he can do a favor for us and we can do a favor for him,’” the source continued. “It was a complete quid pro quo that he was going in for.”
“I told him that’s not the way it works in America, [but] he basically laughed at me and told me I was so naïve,” the source recalled of Yevtushenkov.
MTS ultimately settled the Uzbekistan corruption case with the Trump Justice Department in 2019 and paid an $850 million fine. The NYSE froze trading of shares in the company last year after the invasion of Ukraine.
Baturina and Yevtushenkov courted Hunter Biden while his vice-president father helped lead the Obama administration’s efforts to “reset” relations with the Kremlin before taking over the US’s Ukraine policy following Russia’s seizure of Crimea in 2014.
The scope of Baturina and Yevtushenkov’s eventual US property investments is unclear, as is the share of proceeds that may have been shared with Hunter.
The House Oversight Committee in August released a report tracing the transfer of most of Baturina’s $3.5 million onto other entities co-held by Hunter Biden and Archer, but Archer said he was unsure of what the money was for and the ultimate disposition remains murky.
Oversight Committee chairman James Comer (R-Ky.) announced Tuesday that the panel would subpoena the bank records of Hunter Biden and his uncle James Biden to more precisely track the flows of foreign revenue.
Archer told the House committee that Baturina worked primarily with his Rosemont Realty firm, into which he said she poured more than $100 million. Hunter Biden was briefly associated with that company as well, Archer said.
The White House and State Department did not respond to emailed requests for comment.