Jan. 29 (UPI) — The U.S. Treasury released a new sanctions report on Monday that lists Russian oligarchs linked to President Vladimir Putin.
The report punishes wealthy backers of autocrats by naming them, although its unclear how President Donald Trump‘s administration will determine who qualifies as an oligarch. Being named on the list doesn’t carry an immediate penalty.
However, the list unveils financial details of Russian elites, potentially making them vulnerable to future sanctions due to their association with Putin.
The imminent release of the list has caused “more concern among wealthy Russians in Moscow, London and Geneva than there has been since sanctions were imposed on Russia post-Ukraine,” Michael Caputo, a former Trump campaign adviser, told The New York Times.
“I’ve never heard this level of chatter,” Caputo said. “That low rolling thunder you hear is dozens of Russian oligarchs lawyering up with top American legal talent.”
The report includes “indices of corruption,” as well as the net worth and known sources of income of both the primary person listed and of their spouses, children, parents and siblings. Any U.S. assets, including real estate, must be listed as well.
Along with the list of oligarchs, another report will be released detailing the possible consequences of penalizing Russia’s sovereign debt.
But on Monday, the Trump administration said sanctions that were unanimously approved in House and Senate votes last year wold not be imposed at this time because they’re unnecessary.
A State Department spokesperson told Politico that the administration is “using this legislation as Congress intended to press Russia to address our concerns related to its aggression in Ukraine, interference in other nations’ domestic affairs and abuses of human rights.”
Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said the report is an attempt to influence Russia’s 2018 presidential election.
“We really do believe that this is a direct and obvious attempt to time some steps to coincide with the election in order to exert influence on it,” Peskov said.
However, Peskov said Moscow was “convinced that it will have no influence” on the Russian election in March.
Monday’s report is part of a law Trump approved in August, known as the Countering America’s Adversaries Through Sanctions Act. It expanded sanctions against Russia by punishing those who do business with the Russian military or intelligence sectors. It also mandates that the U.S. Treasury submit to Congress a report on Russia’s wealthiest citizens.
The U.S. Treasury announced sanctions against 21 individuals and nine business entities Saturday as part of its “commitment to maintain sanctions pressure on Russia until it fully implements its commitments under the Minsk agreements.”
“The U.S. government is committed to maintaining the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Ukraine and to targeting those who attempt to undermine the Minsk agreements,” Treasury Secretary Steven T. Mnuchin said. “Those who provide goods, services, or material support to individuals and entities sanctioned by the United States for their activities in Ukraine are engaging in behavior that could expose them to U.S. sanctions.”