WASHINGTON (AP) — The Latest on the Trump administration and Russia sanctions (all times local):
A Russian businessman who is on the Trump administration’s list of Russian politicians and businessmen, released as part of a U.S. law aimed at punishing Russia for meddling in the 2016 U.S. election, says he will nevertheless advocate for better ties with the West.
Boris Titov, presidential ombudsman for business, is on the list along with two other Russian presidential envoys for human rights.
Titov, who is also running for Russian president in the March election, said he was surprised to find his name on the list: “We are working to protect people from authorities.”
Titov said he would keep doing his job, “part of which is to improve relations with the West.”
A senior Russian lawmaker has described the Trump administration’s list of politicians and business figures released late on Monday as “political paranoia which, it turns out, is very hard to cure.”
In a Facebook post Tuesday, Konstantin Kosachev, chairman of the Federation Council’s foreign affairs committee, said U.S. intelligence failed to find compromising material on Russian politicians and “ended up copying the Kremlin phone book.”
Kosachev criticized the U.S. government for harming Russia-U.S. relations, saying that “the consequences will be toxic and undermine prospects for cooperation for years ahead.”
Russian Deputy Prime Minister Arkady Dvorkovich has dismissed the Trump administration’s list of Russian politicians and businessmen as simply a “who’s who” of Russian politics.
The list released by the Trump administration late on Monday includes 114 political figures and 96 people the U.S. Treasury deems to be “oligarchs.” The list, required by a law passed by Congress last year to punish Russia for meddling in the 2016 U.S. election, does not trigger any U.S. sanctions targeting the individuals.
Dvorkovich told Russian news agencies on Tuesday that he was not surprised to find his name on the list, too, saying that it “looks like a ‘who’s who’ book.” Dvorkovich stopped short of saying how Russia would react to it, saying that the government would “monitor the situation.”
The Trump administration has released its highly anticipated list of Russian politicians and business figures in an attempt to increase pressure on Russian President Vladimir Putin.
The list includes 114 individuals deemed by the Treasury Department to be senior Russian political figures. It also includes 96 people deemed to be “oligarchs.” The Treasury says each has an estimated net worth of $1 billion or more.
The list was required by a law passed by Congress last year to punish Russia for meddling in the 2016 U.S. election. The Trump administration had until Monday to release the list, aimed at exposing those who have gained wealth or power through association with Putin. It’s been informally referred to as the “Putin list.”
The list does not trigger any U.S. sanctions targeting the individuals.
The Trump administration has notified Congress that it will not impose new sanctions on Russia at this time.
The State Department says it’s confident that new legislation enacted last year is significantly deterring Russian defense sales.
Spokeswoman Heather Nauert estimates foreign governments have abandoned several billion dollars in planned or announced Russian purchases.
The decision comes amid ongoing concerns from critics of the president that his administration has been too soft on Russia. Investigations continue into Moscow’s efforts to influence the 2016 election to help Donald Trump win.
The Treasury Department was expected to release another list of businessmen who have grown rich under Russian President Vladimir Putin, but the day came and went with no word. The Treasury Department did not respond to multiple inquiries Monday about the list.