Published: Wed, January 31, 2018
People | By Leon Thompson

Treasury Dept.'s Russian Oligarch List Cribbed From Forbes Richest List

Treasury Dept.'s Russian Oligarch List Cribbed From Forbes Richest List

According to the released list - a separate, related memo remains classified - US officials determined who would be on the list "based on objective criteria related to individuals' official position in the case of senior political figures, or a net worth of $1 billion or more for oligarchs".

Putin on Tuesday referred to the list as a "hostile step" - but said Moscow does not want to make the situation even worse.

The 65-year-old Russian leader - who spoke before the US Treasury said it would act on its list "in the near future - said the US move would further worsen ties".

The State Department said Monday that the threat of possible sanctions is already having an effect on Moscow, but it unveiled a list of names it said could be affected by future financial penalties.

United States lawmakers passed the law - called the Countering America's Adversaries Through Sanctions Act - out of concern that Trump, eager to have warm ties with Putin, might not take tough action to punish Moscow and Russian officials for interfering in U.S. elections and destabilizing Ukraine.

"We were waiting for this list to come out, and I'm not going to hide it: we were going to take steps in response, and, mind you, serious steps, that could push our relations to the nadir".

The long-awaited US publication appears to be mainly a list of people in Russian government, along with 96 "oligarchs" from a Forbes magazine ranking of Russian billionaires.

"Ordinary Russian citizens, employees and entire industries are behind each of those people and companies, so all 146 million people have essentially been put on this list", Putin said at a campaign event in Moscow.

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The move, or lack thereof, is widely being chalked up as a win for Russian Federation. Peskov said the Kremlin noted that new sanctions might still be imposed later.

He said the goal was not to levy sanctions by the deadline for producing the report, adding that a review of the classified section of the report could provide more information on the issue.

The seven-page unclassified report also includes the names of Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov and energy giant Rosneft's chief executive Igor Sechin considered to be Russia's second most powerful man.

He added: "It's not the first day that we live with quite aggressive comments made towards us, so we should not give in to emotions".

All those on the list, Peskov said, "have been de facto called enemies of the US".

Washington imposed sanctions on Moscow following Russia's 2014 annexation of the Crimean peninsula from Ukraine and Moscow's meddling in eastern Ukraine.

The sanctions, which were approved by veto-proof majorities in both chambers despite complaints from President TrumpDonald John TrumpCynthia Nixon calls for Americans to "take to the streets" if Trump fires Mueller Trump declines to implement new Russian Federation sanctions Comey praises McCabe: He "stood tall" while "small people" tried to tear down the FBI MORE, were in response to Moscow's 2016 election meddling. Investigations continue into Moscow's efforts to influence the 2016 election to help Donald Trump win.

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