The entire Russian government is included in the US Treasury’s ‘Kremlin List,’ which also features scores of influential businessmen. Moscow slammed the report, saying it virtually amounts to a breakdown of ties.
The first part lists a total of 114 Russian political figures, including Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov, head of the Presidential Administration Anton Vaino, Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev, and First Deputy Prime Minister Igor Shuvalov, as well as all Russian ministers, including Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov and other senior officials.
Apart from Defense Minister Sergey Shoigu and his deputies, the ‘Kremlin List’ features other top security officials, including head of Russian Security Service (FSB) Aleksandr Bortnikov.
It also names Dmitriy Kochnev, the head of the FSO – an agency tasked with protecting high-ranking state officials.
Viktor Zolotov, the head of the National Guard Service (Rosgvardiya), is also among the “big guns” mentioned by the US Treasury.
The list includes 96 Russian businessmen including the heads of the biggest banks – including Sberbank and VTB – chiefs of state gas company Gazprom and state oil company Rosneft, as well as the heads of major transport companies such as Russian Railways and Aeroflot, among others. It also includes top Russian businessmen Alisher Usmanov, Sergey Ivanov and Roman Abramovich.
According to the report, people featured in the list were selected on the basis of “individuals’ official position in the case of senior political figures, or a net worth of $1 billion or more for oligarchs.”
The document is part of a sanctions law signed by Trump in August, which targeted Russia in retaliation for alleged interference in the 2016 presidential election – a claim which still lacks any evidence.
However, “It is not a sanctions list, and the inclusion of individuals or entities in this report… does not and in no way should be interpreted to impose sanctions on those individuals or entities,” the document says.
The report adds that it “does not create any other restrictions, prohibitions or limitations on dealing with such persons by either U.S. or foreign persons.”
DETAILS: Russian Deputy Energy Minister is among those who were hit with US sanction https://t.co/G2L6q575Ao
— RT (@RT_com) January 26, 2018
Its intention is to “name and shame” Russian oligarchs, and to send a message that “Putin’s aggression in terms of Russian interference in our elections will be very costly to them,” said Daniel Fried, a former assistant secretary of state who led the State Department Sanctions Office, as quoted by USA Today.
The report also has a “classified annex” that could include other people with a net worth below $1 billion, according to the US Treasury’s document.
Russian Senator Vladimir Dzhabarov slammed the US Treasury’s list, saying that it almost means a breakdown of bilateral relations.
“Formally our countries have relations, but including in the sanctions list almost all our country’s leadership means that those relations automatically break down,” he said.
Russian Senator Konstantin Kosachev, head of the upper house’s Committee for International Relations, sarcastically noted that the US just “rewrote the Kremlin phone book” in a desperate attempt to find any compromising evidence on Russian officials. The senator also painted a grim picture of the move’s outcomes.
“The consequences are extremely toxic and will undermine the prospects of cooperation for years to come. Those relations will never be normal, at least while Washington is ruled by the current generation of politicians,” Kosachev wrote on Facebook. He added that those politicians maintain a Cold-War mentality and are obsessed with the idea of “American exceptionalism.”