The U.S. State Department is considering whether to impose sanctions on Russian oligarch Vladimir Yevtushenkov amid charges that his company Sistema built projects in Crimea since it was illegally annexed by Russia from Ukraine in 2014, a U.S. lawmaker has said.
Republican Congresswoman Ileana Ros-Lehtinen said on Twitter late on August 7 that the department sent her a letter confirming its investigation in response to a letter she and another lawmaker sent in June asking the department to consider 'punitive measures' against the tycoon.
The letter cited Russian President Vladimir Putin's statement in October 2016 that Yevtushenkov's holding company, AFK Sistema, would build medical facilities in Crimea.
'Let them check,' Yevtushenkov was quoted by Russian news outlet RNS as saying in response to the U.S. lawmakers' letter.
AFK Sistema controls Russia's largest mobile phone operator, MTS, which is traded on the New York Stock Exchange. The lawmakers' letter also cited a U.S. corruption probe involving MTS activities in Uzbekistan.
The company has denied investing in projects in Crimea.
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