U.S. uses 'Kremlin list' to impose additional Russian Federation sanctions

Posted February 01, 2018

Putin was speaking after the US Treasury released a long-awaited list of Russian officials and business leaders eligible for sanctions under a law created to punish Moscow for its alleged meddling in the election that brought Donald Trump to power.

The Trump administration has notified Congress that it will not impose new sanctions on Russian Federation at this time.

"As we already said, all these sanctions are supposed to make (American) business more competitive", Siluanov said, adding that Washington aims to push back against Russian business competition, including Kaspersky Lab.

Russian officials from President Vladimir Putin on down have denounced the United States' publication of the so-called "Putin list" - a U.S. Treasury-issued registry of 210 Russians identified as close to the Russian leader - under a new sanctions law tied to allegations of Kremlin interference in the 2016 U.S. presidential elections.

In mid-2018, the European Union will have to once again adopt a common position on sanctions against Russian Federation.

The ARD report on Monday quoted Rodchenkov, the source of revelations on Moscow's state-sponsored doping, as saying that orders came from the Russian leader who was kept informed through former sports minister Vitaly Mutko. "The next time Putin does something outrageous like bombing civilians in Syria or hacking elections, there will be huge political pressure in the U.S. to sanction someone and this list will be the first port of call".

The Russian leader noted that a presidential children rights' ombudswoman was put on the list even though the US has pushed for resuming the adoption of Russian children by USA parents that Russia banned in 2012.

President Vladimir Putin centre made the comments when meeting athletes taking part in next week's Winter Olympic Games in Pyeongchang
President Vladimir Putin centre made the comments when meeting athletes taking part in next week's Winter Olympic Games in Pyeongchang

Russia hawks in Congress had pushed the administration to include certain names, while Russian businessmen hired lobbyists to keep them off.

At the same time, Putin sought to make light of the USA report - which many commentators say looks like an attempt to simply copy a Forbes Russia "rich list" - adding Moscow would not reciprocate for now.

"It's an example of public shaming", Adam Smith, a former Treasury Department adviser on sanctions, said.

The Russians, said Pomeranz, view this as being on the same level as the sanctions levied against them after Russia seized Crimea in 2014, "when we put in sanctions and we listed a few people and thought somehow that was going to have an impact or deter something", he said. "It will complicate the hard situation Russian-American relations are already in, and of course harm worldwide relations as a whole", Putin said.

A companion list of 96 "oligarchs" is a carbon copy of Forbes magazine's Russian billionaires' rankings, only arranged alphabetically.

The seven-page unclassified report also includes the names of Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov and energy giant Rosneft's chief executive Igor Sechin considered to be Russia's second most powerful man. Where were Russia's senior court judges and the head of the election commission?

"Since the enactment of the ... legislation, we estimate that foreign governments have abandoned planned or announced purchases of several billion dollars in Russian defense acquisitions", she said. That information, he acknowledged, could be in the classified version of the list.