Putin 'offended' for not being on United States sanctions

01 February 2018, 12:41 | Isaac Mcdaniel

Dmitry Medvedev

Dmitry Medvedev

Mazurin said a number of people on the United States list could in no way be described as Kremlin-linked oligarchs. The CEOs of major state-owned companies, including energy giant Rosneft and Sberbank, are also on the list.

Another is aluminum magnate Oleg Deripaska, whose worth is estimated at $6.9 billion.

Putin called the list "a hostile step" but then joked that he felt "slighted" that he wasn't included on it.

The list includes people already subject to sanctions due to their close ties to Putin, such as Arkady Rotenberg, as well as those seen as distant from the Kremlin, such as banker Oleg Tinkov and grocery tycoon Sergey Galitsky.

The president - who is running for re-election - said he had not seen the list so far and quoted the old Oriental proverb "the dogs bark but the caravan goes on" to play down the significance of Washington's report. Monday, which was set as the date when the administration would begin imposing sanctions under CAATSA "was the start date of the race on, or after which, we could start imposing sanctions if we make the determination".

A Treasury spokesperson didn't deny lifting the list in a statement to the magazine.

The drumbeat in Washington began within hours of the document's publication on Tuesday (30 January).

In an e-mail to Reuters, the International Olympic Committee, which says it does not comment on individual cases, said panel members had gone "into detailed consideration of each individual athlete" in its selection of Russian competitors.

The drumbeat also began more quietly in the EU.

Daniel Fried, formerly the State Department's top sanctions policy official, said: "I think the administration missed an opportunity to extend the use of sanctions" to deter Russian Federation. And he also sent a clear signal that we won't tolerate interference in our democratic process by Russian Federation.

"I'm flattered that the United States government chose it as an unassailably authoritative source on who counts as an oligarch in Russian Federation". "It's very likely they'll be involved in our 2018 elections".

Police took the pair to a Moscow police station and told them they would be kept in overnight until a court hearing, Shaveddinov wrote on Twitter.

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"The objective of this "black list" is purely political, since no sanctions of economic nature have been mentioned".

The report, which features 114 politicians and 96 people considered "oligarchs" close to Putin and worth at least $1bn each, does not trigger sanctions right away but may cut businesses off from world finance.

Democrats said the sanctions should have come immediately. "That project has huge financing requirements and banks want to avoid any exposure to sanctions", he added.

He said the list included some glaring omissions, however. It's been informally referred to as the "Putin list".

The cellist, who, according to Browder, has a net worth of $2 billion, was shown in the so-called Panama Papers leak as having taken money that was stolen from the Russian taxpayer and laundered via European Union banks.

But he and other commentators pointed to a number of inaccuracies in the US Treasury report.

Russian Federation is ready to take "serious" reciprocal measures but will refrain from doing so for now, Putin added.

The Trump administration late on Monday said it would not immediately impose sanctions under the law, created to punish Moscow for meddling in the 2016 presidential election. He added that the Russians have no reason to fear what's on this list because it's not even "a real work product".

USA officials admitted the public version of the list had been drawn up based on publicly available data such as Forbes Magazine's annual lists of the super wealthy, and Putin joked that he was upset not to have been included himself.

Drafted on the basis of the US legislation six months ago, the "Kremlin report" also has classified annexes, which include individuals with a lower official position or with a net worth below 1 billion dollars, as well as companies with state ownership of at least 25 percent and with 2016 revenues of 2 billion dollars or more. Putin said. "Shall we work together or not?"

"On the positive side, the administration met the deadline", the U.S. source cited above told EUobserver.

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