WATCH: Here's why US hasn't tried to sanction Putin's girlfriend

United States security officials are prepared to impose sanctions on Alina Kabaeva, the long-time rumored girlfriend of Russian President Vladimir Putin, but are holding off doing so because of concerns that it would be a far too personal attack on Putin and would further deteriorate US-Russia relations.

That's the take from Wall Street Journal reporter Vivian Salama, who in an interview on CNN, said the US was prepared levy the sanctions on the woman who is thought to be the mother of three of Putin's children but decided not to follow through because the move would be seen as "escalatory."

Putin has never confirmed that Kabaeva is his girlfriend. But it's widely believed that Putin has parked a great deal of his multi-billion dollar wealth with Kabaeva to shield it from possible worldwide sanctions. As the Moscow Times reports, the U.S. National Security Council made the last minute decision to remove Kabaeva from the country’s latest sanctions package.

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“We have prepared sanctions on a number of people who haven’t yet been sanctioned, and we continue to think about when to impose those sanctions for maximum impact,” a U.S. official told the Wall Street Journal.

The Kremlin denies there is a relationship between Putin and Kabaeva.

Swiss, U.S. and European officials told the Wall Street Journal that Kabaeva traveled to Switzerland to give birth to Putin’s child in 2015. In 2019, she reportedly gave birth to twins in Moscow. Kabaeva heads a pro-Kremlin media holding, The National Media Group, which removed her name from its website shortly before another round of Western sanctions in early April. Those sanctions targeted two of Putin’s adult daughters with his former wife, Lyudmila Shkrebneva.

The 39-year-old Kabaeva made a rare public appearance on Saturday at a gymnastics exhibition that is to be broadcast as part of Russia’s Victory Day commemorations next month.

Why the US is holding off on sanctioning Putin's rumored girlfriend, according to WSJ