Swedish lawyer blacklisted by the US

A Swedish lawyer has been blacklisted by the U.S. Treasury Department for having ties to the Russian oligarch Gennady Timchenko, news agency TT reports. 

The lawyer, Sven Olsson, was blacklisted Tuesday as the US stepped up its sanctions against Russia for its intervention in the Ukraine, and imposed sanctions on a total of 34 people and entities.

The US government believes Gennady Timchenko is a member of Russian president Vladimir Putin's inner circle and he has been included on the sanctions list since last year.

Olsson has worked with Timchenko since the 1990's and has been a board member in a number of his companies, but Olsson says that he has mainly provided legal counsel and helped dissolve the companies.

"I am surprised to be part of this list. I'm not a Russian citizen and I don't own any parts of these companies. I have only been contracted as a lawyer or been a board member," Olsson tells news agency TT.

Olsson says that he is unsure how the sanctions will affect him personally.

"Most companies I work with are already affected by the previous sanctions. The only thing that could change is how my bank reacts when I want to pay things like my electric bill or that it affects my work on other company boards," Olsson says.