The US Treasury Department named major Russian businessmen on a list of oligarchs close to the Kremlin, but the list does not denote that its entries are subject to sanctions or any other restrictions, that they meet the criteria for being subject to any punitive actions by the US government, or that they are involved in any malicious activities, Reuters quoted the Treasury Department as saying in a statement.
The so-called “oligarch list”, drawn up as part of a sanctions package signed into law in August 2017, was prompted in part by Washington’s belief that Russia interfered in the 2016 US presidential election.
After the release of the report, the ruble opened down 0.1% against the dollar, while shares in some of Russia’s biggest companies fell too, according to Reuters.
The US Treasury Department statement said people had been included on the list based on their net worth and “their closeness to the Russian regime”.
Among the businessmen on the “oligarchs list” are Gazprom CEO Alexey Miller, Severstal Chairman Alexey Mordashov, Novatek co-owner Leonid Mikhelson, Sberbank CEO German Gref and VTB CEO Andrey Kostin, according to the news agency.
The Trump administration reportedly said on Monday it would not immediately impose additional sanctions on Russia.
Dmitri Trenin, director of the Carnegie Moscow Center, tweeted on Tuesday, “The power of US sanctions is not in the specifics of people or companies blacklisted but in a simple message: those who want to do deals with Russians might have to deal with the United States. The recent Kremlin list underlines that message”.