30 Jan 2018
The United States Treasury department has published a list of wealthy Russians and influential individuals closely connected to the Kremlin, but did not impose sanctions or bans.
It has been suggested, however, that the move casts a potential shadow of sanctions risk over the affluent Russians.
Featured on the list are English football club owners Alisher Usmanov (Arsenal) and Roman Abramovich (Chelsea), top executives such as Rosneft boss Igor Sechin and Gazprom CEO Aleksey Miller, as well as spy chief Alexander Bortnikov of the Federal Security Service.
Also included are bankers such as German Gref, Sberbank CEO, and Andrey Kostin, VTB chairman-management board.
Congress had asked Treasury to provide a report about senior political figures and oligarchs in the Russian Federation and parastatal entities.
Treasury said it had worked closely with State and the intelligence community to draft the report, which includes Russian individuals with an estimated net worth of $1 billion or more.
It had also analysed entities that are at least 25% owned by the Government of Russia and that had about $2 billion or more in revenues in 2016.
Some of the names in the unclassified version of the report were selected “based on objective criteria drawn from publicly available sources,” the US said.
“This report is not a sanctions list. The inclusion of individuals or entities in any portion of the report does not impose sanctions on those individuals or entities,” a Treasury statement explained, “nor does it create any other restrictions, prohibitions, or limitations on dealings with such persons by either U.S. or foreign persons.”
Russian President Vladimir Putin has described the measure as an “unfriendly act,” according to Reuters.
“It will complicate the difficult situation Russian-American relations are already in, and of course harm international relations as a whole,” Putin reportedly said, “We were waiting for this list, and I will not hide it, were ready to take retaliatory steps, serious ones, which would have reduced our relations to zero.”
“For now, we will refrain from these steps. But we will carefully watch how the situation develops.”
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