US Issues List of Russian Politicians, Oligarchs But No New Sanctions

The U.S. Treasury Department has released a congressionally mandated list of Russian politicians and business figures who are close to President Vladimir Putin’s government, along with their relationship to top leaders and their net worth.

The list of more than 200 people does not carry any new sanctions, though a number of the figures are already subject to earlier U.S. sanctions.

Last August, U.S. President Donald Trump reluctantly signed a bill that was passed almost unanimously by Congress aimed at penalizing Russia for its interference in the 2016 U.S. election. Trump said at the time the bill “improperly encroaches on executive power, disadvantages American companies and hurts the interests of our European allies.”

The measure gave the Trump administration 180 days to produce the list, which includes Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev, Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov and top spy agency officials. Among the business figures are aluminum magnate Oleg Deripaska, Sberbank CEO German Gref and Gazprom CEO Alexei Miller.

Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov, who also appears on the list, called the U.S. move “unprecedented” and said it labeled everyone a de facto adversary of the United States. He said the Russian government would take time to analyze the list.

The same August law ordered the Trump administration to impose sanctions on anyone who engages in a “significant transaction” with the defense or intelligence sectors of the Russian government.

On Monday, the U.S. State Department announced it had informed Congress it would not impose any such sanctions.

State Department spokeswoman Heather Nauert said in a statement the administration estimates “foreign governments have abandoned planned or announced purchases of several billion dollars in Russian defense acquisitions.”

The statement did not cite any examples of nations that canceled planned transactions in response to the legislation.

House Democratic Whip Steny Hoyer rejected the administration’s reasoning, saying he was disappointed it chose not to impose new sanctions or “put forth a plan for how it plans to deter further Russian aggression.”

“Sanctions are a deterrent only if countries believe the U.S. will impose them. The anemic announcements today, with no statements from senior administration officials, do not give me confidence that is the case,” Hoyer said in a statement.

Democratic Rep. Raja Krishnamoorthi also criticized the White House decision.

“Congress passed sanctions on Russia overwhelmingly to send a message on Russian interference in our democracy. The president doesn’t appear to want to send that message,” he wrote on Twitter.

your ad here