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U.S. targets 210 Russians close to Putin
Journal Staff Report

NEW YORK, Jan. 30 - The administration of U.S. President Donald Trump has provided the Treasury Department with a list of about 210 Russians deemed close enough to Russian President Vladimir Putin to be targets for new sanctions, Los Angeles Times reported.

Putin criticized the list as an "unfriendly act.

The list, released late Monday night, fulfills a congressional demand that Washington punish the Kremlin for interference in the 2016 U.S. election. President Trump reluctantly signed the bill in August.

Ukrainian Finance Minister Oleksandr Danyliuk said the release of the list indicates that Russia must stop its aggressive war in eastern Ukraine. He said sanctions are one of the most effective and powerful methods of influencing Russia.

"This is more than a warning - this is another step that should prompt Russia to stop interfering in the democratic processes in various countries of the world and stop the war in Ukraine," Danyliuk wrote on his Facebook page.

Called "Putin's List," it reads like a who's who of Russia's richest and most powerful politicians and leaders.
In fact, the list looks so much like the staff listing on the Kremlin administration's website and the first 96 names on Forbes magazine's 200 Russian billionaires list that several commentators have wondered whether the White House might have done a cut-and-paste job to meet the Jan. 29 deadline. The Trump administration released the list 12 minutes before the deadline.

The White House stopped short of recommending that the Treasury Department place those named under sanctions at this point. However, it places those named under risk of future targeting.

Putin's entire administration is on it, including Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev and Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov. Minister of Culture Vladimir Medinsky, who recently issued an order to ban the satirical movie "The Death of Stalin" from Russian theaters, also made the list. Senior political figures named include Moscow Mayor Sergei Sobyanin and Prosecutor General Yuri Chaika.

And then there are the 96 names of Russia's richest "oligarchs," wealthy business leaders, bankers and state oil and gas company chiefs, many of whom are in Putin's closest circles. Yuri Milner, a Silicon Valley investor, is named.

The unusual scope and breadth of the list show that the Trump administration is sticking to a policy that is anti-globalization and putting America first, said Fyodor Lukyanov, a Moscow-based foreign affairs analyst and editor of Russia in Global Affairs magazine.

If the Obama White House tried to move the Russian elite into a globalized world, the Trump administration is sending a signal with this list of doing the opposite, Lukyanov said.

Putin, at a summit in Moscow for Syria, said sarcastically it was "a pity" his name wasn't on the list. He went on to call the list an "unfriendly act," which essentially put "all 146 million Russians on the list." (lat/ez)




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