US 'Kremlin List' means nothing to Russia - PM

Dmitry Medvedev

Dmitry Medvedev

Under the same law that authorized the "Putin list", the government was required to slap sanctions on anyone doing "significant" business with people linked to Russia's defense and intelligence agencies, using a blacklist the USA released in October.

Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin, testifying before the Senate Banking Committee on Tuesday, came under fire from Democrats for failing to impose any sanctions in the report Treasury released. "I'm speaking about Ukraine here, we understand that this is a very sensitive issue", TASS news agency reported. "I don't think in anyway we are slow-walking the report delivered last night and we look forward to discussing with you in a classified setting", Bloomberg cited Mnuchin as saying.

Putin responded by suggesting the goal of Russians should be to develop their economy to the point where "there's no point to formulating any lists, to hold us back".

Echoing Lithuania's Linkevicius, Browder said that targeting Russian oligarchs puts pressure directly on the Russian president because "many oligarchs on the list are holding large amounts of money for Putin as trustees".

But the Russian leader said he still wanted to improve ties with the United States and would refrain from any immediate retaliation.

Vagit Alekperov, left, seen with Vladimir Putin, was estimated to have lost $226m due to his inclusion on the list. Future sanctions would mostly be on foreign governments and business entities that buy from Russia, not the Russian firms, the official said.

The law calls for the list to categorize "indices of corruption", listing political and business figures by "their closeness to the Russian regime and their net worth", including the assets they hold outside Russia.

"It's a lottery", said Sofia Prosvirnova, one of seven Russian short track speed skaters headed to South Korea, ahead of a meeting of "Olympic Athletes from Russia" with President Vladimir Putin.

"Forgive us for not having been able to shield you from this", Putin said, adding that the scandal had contributed to "very hard conditions" for athletes. The 114-strong political list is the entire presidential administration and the Russian Cabinet, while the list of 96 "oligarchs" is an exact copy of the Forbes magazine's Russian billionaires' rankings.

He did not say whether Washington now has plans to hit entities that deal with Russian Federation with penalties.

"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.

"We estimate that foreign governments have abandoned planned or announced purchases of several billion dollars in Russian defense acquisitions", said State Department spokeswoman Heather Nauert.

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