The US has released a sweeping list of prominent Russian business and political figures, in defiance of Moscow and implementing a Congressional law designed to punish Russia for election meddling. The US Treasury report, published shortly before a midnight deadline, listed every senior member of the political administration at the Kremlin, and every Russian oligarch with a net worth of $1 billion or more.
Some of those named are already subject to US sanctions. But the administration stopped short of imposing any new punishments, saying the legislation was already doing its job. The report was “not a sanctions list,” it said. Instead, the Treasury report resembled an exercise in naming and shaming — putting individuals on notice that they may be subject to sanctions in the future.
The Associated Press reports:
Russian President Vladimir Putin says the Trump administration’s list of top officials and business people is a “hostile step” that harms relations between Russia and the United States.
Just 12 minutes before the deadline, the administration late on Monday released a long-awaited list of 114 Russian politicians and 96 “oligarchs” who have flourished under Putin, fulfilling a demand by Congress that the U.S. punish Moscow for interfering in the 2016 U.S. election.
The section on political leaders includes the entire Kremlin administration and the Cabinet as well as other top officials. Speaking at a campaign event in Moscow, Putin, who is running for president at the March election, joked on Tuesday that he felt “slighted” that he himself was not on the list.