Putin says US sanctions list targets all Russians

Putin says US sanctions list targets all Russians

- in News, World News

Russian President Vladimir Putin says a list of officials and businessmen close to the Kremlin published by the US has in effect targeted all Russian people.

The list names 210 top Russians as part of a sanctions law aimed at punishing Moscow for meddling in the US election.

However, the US stressed those named were not subject to new sanctions.

Mr Putin said the list was an unfriendly act that complicated US-Russia ties but he said he did not want to escalate the situation.

Mr Putin said Russia should instead be thinking about “ourselves and the economy”.

Why did the US publish the list?

The government was required to draw up the list after Congress passed the Countering America’s Adversaries Through Sanctions Act (Caatsa) in August.

The law aimed to punish Russia for its alleged meddling in the 2016 US presidential election and its actions in Ukraine.Congress wanted the list to name and shame those who had benefited from close association with President Putin and put them on notice that they could be targeted for sanctions, or more sanctions, in the future.

President Donald Trump did not support Caatsa, even though he signed it into law, saying it was “unconstitutional”.

Under the law, the list had to be delivered by Monday. The fact it was released about 10 minutes before midnight may reflect Mr Trump’s coolness towards it, and his opposition to punishing more Russians with sanctions.

The top Democrat on the House Foreign Affairs Committee, Eliot Engel, accused the Trump administration of letting “Russia off the hook again” by not taking substantial action.

Who has been named?

Informally known as the “Putin list”, the unclassified section has 210 names, 114 of them in the government or linked to it, or key businessmen. The other 96 are oligarchs apparently determined more by the fact they are worth more than $1bn (£710m) than their close ties to the Kremlin.

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