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Treasury Department copied list of Russian execs from Forbes

Treasury Department copied list of Russian execs from Forbes

President Donald Trump signed the sanctions legislation only reluctantly, and perhaps the Treasury was never serious about compiling the lists, he wrote.

Russian oligarchs have reportedly lost $1.1 billion after the U.S. Treasury Department released the highly anticipated "Kremlin List" in retaliation for alleged Russian election meddling.

In advance of the list's publication, the Kremlin had indicated Russian Federation viewed the registry - and any additional sanctions - as an attempt by the U.S.to influence Russia's presidential elections in March, when Putin is all but guaranteed re-election to a fourth term. The latter tweeted: "I believe the people behind the list don't understand the meaning of the word "oligarch" otherwise wouldn't include me and other successful businessmen with no ties to the government". These included Arkady Volozh, the founder and chief executive of the search engine Yandex, and Valentin Gapontsev, an American citizen whose US-based IPG Photonics company produces fiber-optic lasers.

In a Facebook post Tuesday, Konstantin Kosachev, chairman of the Federation Council's foreign affairs committee, said usa intelligence failed to find compromising material on Russian politicians and "ended up copying the Kremlin phone book". A Treasury spokesman, who spoke on condition of anonymity, confirmed that the unclassified portion of the report that was submitted to Congress was derived from publicly available sources including the Forbes list.

In other words, being named on this list - as opposed to other sanctions lists created by the Treasury Department's Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) - basically means nothing.

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As required by the law, the administration issued a public list of Russian oligarchs close to the Kremlin who could be sanctioned, as well as a classified annex sent only to Congress. Moscow dismissed the public document as little more than a "telephone directory" of the rich. Benjamin Cardin, D-Md., the ranking member on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, said he would "conduct rigorous oversight to ensure that the Russian government's ability to conduct this trade is significantly impeded".

The Russian leader stated "it is definitely an unfriendly act". Where were Russia's senior court judges and the head of the election commission?

"The most obvious name missing from the list is Putin's best friend from childhood, the famous cellist Sergei Roldugin", Browder said.

A list of potential targets were drawn up last month in anticipation of Monday's deadline for implementing secondary sanctions.

United States intelligence agencies concluded in late 2016 that Putin had directed a broad effort to influence the presidential election that year.