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.

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