Putin apologizes for authorities' failure to protect athletes from foreign pressures

Thursday, 01 Feb, 2018

The U.S. Treasury Department has issued a long-awaited list of wealthy Russians who are connected to the Kremlin, and that has led to some anxiety in Moscow.

Reed said Trump's decision to "slow walk" the sanctions seems to reward Putin's meddling overseas and comes on the heels of CIA Director Mike Pompeo's statement that Russian Federation will try to target the 2018 elections.

State Department officials said they had used the law to engage in a quiet effort to deter other countries from buying arms from Russian entities. Despite being added to the U.S. Treasury blacklist, neither businessman is considered to be close to the Kremlin.

Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said on Tuesday: "There will be sanctions that come out of this (oligarch) report". He is also part of President Putin's inner circle. "Since the enactment of the. legislation, we estimate that foreign governments have abandoned planned or announced purchases of several billion dollars in Russian defence acquisitions".

The 65-year-old Russian president - who is running for reelection - said he had not seen the list and quoted an old proverb, "the dogs bark but the caravan goes on", to play down the significance of Washington's report.

Schumer said he wants to know whether sanctions were discussed, whether Naryshkin also met with White House or national security officials and whether other sanctioned Russian officials were along on the trip.

The idea of the seven-page unclassified document, as envisioned by Congress, was to name and shame those believed to be benefiting from Putin's tenure, as the US works to isolate his government diplomatically and economically.

But the list of 96 oligarchs appears to copy Forbes' famous 2017 rich list, which lays an array of figures in Russian energy and materials sectors who were able to secure vast resources for themselves when old Soviet assets got sold off.

As reported in our prior alert, the Countering America's Adversaries Through Sanctions Act ("CAATSA"), which was signed into law on August 2, 2017, materially expanded USA sanctions against Russian Federation.

MNUCHIN: The intent was not to have sanctions by the delivery report last night.

Peskov, as a member of the Kremlin administration, is on the list. Rather than deterring Russian misbehavior, the Trump Administration's failure to follow Congress's strong bipartisan intent could further embolden Russian aggression against its neighbors and our North Atlantic Treaty Organisation allies.

Khodorkovksy, who now runs an anti-Putin movement, added that the very fact of being included in a fresh United States and European Union sanctions debate could prompt some Russians to rethink their loyalty to the Kremlin. He dismissed the State Department's claim that "the mere threat of sanctions" would stop Moscow from further meddling in US elections.

"I think what [the report] shows is that people who worry about the election being hacked in 2018 ought to be anxious because this administration seems to have a bit of a blind spot", he said.