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Russia condemns ‘Kremlin list’ of Putin associates
January 30, 2018, 10:42 am

Putin at a meeting with heads of security and intelligence services of CIS states on 10th July, 2014 at the Kremlin, Moscow [PPIO]

A number of senior Russian political figures have strongly condemned a list drawn up by the US Treasury Department which includes lawmakers and businessmen with close ties to the presidency who may be targeted as part of future sanctions against Moscow.

The list of more than 200 people includes 43 aides to Russian President Vladimir Putin, such as Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev and Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov.

It also includes nearly 100 elite figures in the business and industrial community.

While the list is not a sanctions list, its authors say, it does add pressure on Russia for its alleged involvement in the Ukraine crisis.

Russian presidential spokesman Dmitry Peskov, who is among the Putin aides and advisors on the list, said that Moscow disagrees with the list but also believes it will have no bearing.

“We indeed believe that this is a direct and obvious attempt to coincide some actions with the election in order to influence it,” he said.

The Russian presidential election is scheduled for March 18 to April 1.

Other lawmakers see the list as a result of a serious rift between Moscow and Washington.

“Formally our countries have relations, but including in the sanctions list almost all our country’s leadership means that those relations automatically break down,” Russian Senator Vladimir Dzhabarov told Russian media.

Meanwhile, the Trump administration backed away from a new set of sanctions that were scheduled to begin on Monday because those already in place are already being effective it said.

The new santions, which were passed by Congress last July and designed to as a response to alleged Russian meddling in the 2016 US elections, are not necessary for now because the legislation itself has already hurt the Russian defense industry.

“Today, we have informed Congress that this legislation and its implementation are deterring Russian defense sales,” State Department spokeswoman Heather Nauert said in a statement. “Since the enactment of the … legislation, we estimate that foreign governments have abandoned planned or announced purchases of several billion dollars in Russian defense acquisitions.”

Nauert added that the legislation is already working on individuals and organizations who conduct business with the Russian defense industry.

The BRICS Post with inputs from Agencies

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