As reproted earlier, while the Trump administration refused to impose new sanctions on Russia – a move which we expect will be widely criticized today – the Treasury on Monday published a list of 210 names viewed as close to Putin’s government. It included the names of 96 “oligarchs” and 104 top government officials, as well as CEOs of state companies.
However, the list does not mean that the individuals will face sanctions or impose any restrictions on dealing with them – so no new sanctions were announced, to the relief of RUB and Russian assets which bounced in kneejerk response.
Still, Russia’s president was not happy, and shortly after the release, Putin weighed in on the so-called “Kremlin List”, saying it was an “unfriendly act” but that Russia would “refrain from retaliating to the US for now.” He also joked about his non-inclusion to a US list, noting that he was “offended” not to be part of it.
“The dogs bark, but the caravan moves on,” Putin said several hours after the report featuring the entire Russian government and scores of prominent Russian business people was issued.
The list of 210 people fails to mention the Russian leader – much to his “distress”, according to RT. “It’s a pity,” Putin said sarcastically in answer to a journalist’s question on how he feels about his absence.
However, the move is “certainly unfriendly” as it damages already deteriorating Russian-US relations, Putin added.
“What do they want? They must decide for themselves,” Putin said, referring to Washington’s policy. Russia is eager to build long-term relations which are “stable and based on international law,” the Russian leader added noting that “forces damaging Russia ties are attacking the US president.”
Meanwhile, Russia’s PM Medvedev had a somewhat more direct message, stating that the “publication of such lists poisons our relations for a long time.“