U.S. Releases “Putin List” of Russians Eligible for Sanctions
WASHINGTON (Dispatches) - The U.S. Treasury 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 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 stateowned companies such as energy giant Rosneft and Sberbank. A separate, classified annex lists lowerranking government officials or Russians worth less than a billion dollars.
The list was widely expected to infuriate Putin and send shivers through his inner circle and Moscow’s moneyed elite, as it threatens to cut them off from world finance.
Monday was the deadline for its release under a law passed last year by Congress over the objections of Trump, whom critics in the U.S. say has been oddly reluctant to criticize Russia or Putin.
Under the same law, the State Department Monday also declined to punish any U.S. or foreign companies for dealings with Russian defense or intelligence agencies.
It argued this was not necessary because governments around the world have already nixed billions in contracts with Russian arms companies due to the mere threat of U.S. action or secondary sanctions.