The U.S. government has released its long-awaited “Kremlin Report,” – a list profiling top Russian politicians and business leaders as part of a U.S. sanctions law against Moscow.
The list includes the names of 114 individuals deemed by the U.S. Treasury Department to be senior Russian political figures. It also includes 96 people deemed to be “oligarchs,” each of whom has an estimated net worth of at least $1 Billion. 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.
Russian President Vladimir Putin joked that he felt “slighted” for not being included. He also called the list a “hostile step” that impact all Russians and harms relations between the two countries.
“We were waiting for this list, and I will not hide it, (we) were ready to take retaliatory steps, serious ones, which would have reduced our relations to zero. For now, we will refrain from these steps,” Putin said. “We will not pick a fight and escalate the situation. We want and we will patiently, build our relations, as much as the other side – in this case, the American side, – is ready for it.”
CGTN’s Lucy Taylor spoke with officials in Moscow about the impact and implications of the ‘Putin List.’
Vladimir #Putin about "Kremlin List": "Certainly, this is an unfriendly act. It aggravates the already bad condition of 🇷🇺🇺🇸relations and certainly harms international relations in general" pic.twitter.com/Jwe4be6tpm
— MFA Russia 🇷🇺 (@mfa_russia) January 30, 2018
Russian politicians say this reads like a copy and paste of the phone book, simply listing everyone in Russian public life. There’s also a classified annexes, which lists individuals with a lower official position or with a net worth below $1 Billion, as well as companies with state ownership of at least 25 percent and with 2016 revenues of $2 Billion or more.
Since 2014, Western economic sanctions have hurt Russian interests. This list doesn’t accuse anyone of wrongdoing or stop them from doing business. But it opens up the possibility that more sanctions might be on the way. Even smaller companies have been caught up in the fallout. The owner of this Moscow meat importing firm says her business has had to adapt to survive.
The Kremlin has accused the U.S. of trying to create instability through sanctions and affect the outcome of its election in March. They have warned they could respond in kind. The oligarch blacklist may be out, but Russia is showing no signs of shame.
Paolo Von Schirach discusses the latest in US-Russia relations
CGTN’s Asieh Namdar is joined by security expert and President of the Global Policy Institute Paolo Von Schirach, about the latest in U.S. and Russian relations. The Trump administration has said they will not implement a set of sanctions.