US puts out 'Putin list' of Russian oligarchs
The list features the names of most senior members in Russian President's administration and business people US considers close to him
Russian President Vladimir Putin. Pic/AFP
The US Treasury has released a long awaited list of Russian officials and business leaders eligible for sanctions under a law designed to punish Moscow for its alleged meddling in the election that brought Donald Trump to power. The list published shortly before midnight on Monday features the names of most of the senior members in President Vladimir Putin's administration – 114 politicians altogether – and 96 business people the US considers 'oligarchs' close to Putin and worth at least $1 billion each.
The seven-page unclassified list, which does not trigger sanctions right away, features Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov, Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev and top officials in Russian intelligence agencies. Also on the list were the chief executives of big state-owned companies such as energy giant Rosneft and Sberbank.
Monday was the deadline for its release under the Countering America's Adversaries Through Sanctions Act passed last year by Congress. Under the same law, the State Department also declined to punish any US or foreign companies for dealings with Russian arms companies. It argued this was not needed because governments around the world have already nixed billions in contracts with those Russian firms.
Kremlin will take its time with list
The Kremlin yesterday said it would take its time to study the new list. "We have to analyse this publication, analyse specifically this list that includes members of Russia's highest leadership which is quite unprecedented," said Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov. "It's not the first day that we live with quite aggressive comments made against us, so we should not give into emotions," he said.
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