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"The Kremlin report." Why does the United States threaten Russia?

30.01.2018
Tags: USA, Sanctions, Politics, Russia, Analytics

The US Ministry of Finance has published the so-called "Kremlin report" - a list of persons related to the top leadership of Russia. It included 210 people: 114 politicians and 96 businessmen. The publication of this document is an unambiguous signal from Washington: stop any cooperation with the Kremlin. With such a tough demand, the United States has turned not only to Russian political and business elites, but also potentially to EU entrepreneurs, who have recently shown "inappropriate" fluctuations in the issue of pressure on Russia.

Who's on the list

The list included government leaders, including Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev, all federal ministers, as well as representatives of the presidential administration, among them - the press secretary of the head of state Dmitry Peskov. In addition, the speaker was State Duma Speaker Vyacheslav Volodin and the head of the Federation Council Valentina Matvienko, as well as the heads of a number of state companies: Russian Railways, Aeroflot, United Aircraft Corporation and others.

The document lists the director of the Foreign Intelligence Service Sergei Naryshkin, the presidential envoy Sergei Ivanov, the Security Council Secretary Nikolai Patrushev, the first deputy defense minister, the head of the General Staff Valery Gerasimov, the head of the Main Intelligence Director Igor Korobov, the deputy secretary of the Security Council Rashid Nurgaliev. The governor of St. Petersburg, Georgy Poltavchenko, the mayor of Moscow, Sergei Sobyanin, the general prosecutor Yuri Chaika, the head of the Investigation Committee Alexander Bastrykin, the director of the Federal Security Service Dmitry Kochnev and the head of the Federal Security Service Alexander Bortnikov got into the Kremlin report.

Did not ignore the representatives of the president in the government. The children's ombudsman Anna Kuznetsova and the commissioner for entrepreneurs' rights, Boris Titov, also appeared on the list - like the representatives of the head of state in various federal districts.

The document contains a list of so-called oligarchs - entrepreneurs, whose state, according to the US Treasury, is at least a billion dollars. Among the 96 businessmen are Elena Baturina, Oleg Deripaska, Roman Abramovich, Vladimir Potanin, German Gref, Leonid Fedun, Sergei Galitsky, Alisher Usmanov, Vladimir Evtushenkov, Alexey Miller, Igor Sechin, Mikhail Fridman, Vladimir Lisin, Mikhail Gutseriev, Suleiman Kerimov, Andrey Kostin, Mikhail Prokhorov.

The message of the Ministry of Finance specifies that the congressmen, in addition to the "Kremlin report", were provided with a report on who contributes to the development of Iran's missile program, a report on the consequences of a possible tightening of sanctions on "sovereign debt and derivatives," a report on expanding the role of the staff of the US Treasury in foreign embassies of the country to counter the financing of terrorism, as well as notification of the expansion of the circle of persons subject to restrictive measures against the DPRK. Of all these documents, one was made public - the "Kremlin report".

Mkhatovskaya pause

On Monday, 29 January, it was reported that the US administration held a briefing for the congress on the issue of sanctions against Russia. "I will not discuss secret discussions, but focus on these sanctions and will continue to exercise active supervision, so that the Russian government's ability to trade is significantly hampered," Senator Ben Cardin, who spoke on this matter, was quoted as saying.

Cardin could have had in mind the same "Kremlin report", but for some reason he did not say so directly. Washington continued to hold the Mkhatov pause. On the same day, 29, the last term expired, when the so-called "Kremlin report" was to arrive at the relevant congressional committees with a list of high-ranking Russian officials and businessmen close to Russian President Vladimir Putin. And also a list of Russian companies with state participation, which have close ties with the authorities. It was expected that the document would contain an analysis of what effect the imposition of restrictions on Russian companies and their inclusion in sanctions lists would have. The possible consequences of secondary sanctions against individuals and legal entities are also considered. Secondary sanctions imply certain penalties for individuals or legal entities from third countries cooperating with Russia.

The document is not secret, but can contain applications with undisclosed information. The Congress was to determine and the procedure for acquaintance with it - to publish immediately or to submit it to the public later in connection with some event. At the same time, the representative of the US State Department stated that "the very threat of sanctions is enough", so there is no need to impose restrictions on specific people or legal entities.

As a result, the "Kremlin report" was published only about noon on Washington time.

Rigid framework of the congress

The report was prepared as part of the requirements of the law On Countering America's Adversaries Through Sanctions Act (CAATSA), adopted in the summer of 2017. Literally the name of the normative act is translated as the "Law on measures to counteract the enemies of America through sanctions." US President Donald Trump objected to him. But the House of Representatives passed the law by an overwhelming majority, which allowed to overcome the possible veto of the head of state. Because of this, and also because of reproaches in relations with Russia, Trump had to retreat.

By this law, Congressmen narrowed the freedom of maneuver in relations with Russia, not only for the US president, but also for "partners" in the EU. European politicians of different rank regularly expressed their opinion that sanctions could be removed. The new normative act threatens to punish those who start cooperating with Russian companies from the list. By CAATSA law Congress drove both Trump and Brussels into a much more stringent framework of sanctions policy.

Over the "Kremlin report" worked in the US Treasury, involving specialists from the State Department and special services.

The document is an analytical note on "significant political figures and oligarchs." The definition of "significant foreign political figure" in US law is given: any high-ranking official, a functionary of a large party and a top manager of a state company and members of their families. But the term "oligarchs" was left without a clear definition.

The new sanctions were not introduced

Inclusion in the dossier does not entail the automatic imposition of sanctions. Congressmen are still only wanting to find out what their own capital and sources of income are from representatives of the Russian elite and their families. At the American Analytical Center Atlantic Council, whose experts explain the usefulness and necessity of anti-Russian sanctions, they talked about 40-50 persons. According to the media, together with family members, the number of individuals subjected to restrictions could reach 300 people. By the way, the "lists of the Kremlin" called these lists exactly in the Atlantic Council.

"The inclusion of individuals or organizations in any part of the report does not impose sanctions on these individuals or legal entities, nor does it create any other restrictions, prohibitions or restrictions on relations with such persons," the Finance Ministry said.

Analysts note that the criteria for inclusion in the list are extremely diverse. For example, an individual or a legal entity may be involved in "interference in the US presidential election in 2016, military aggression against Georgia, Ukraine, including the annexation of the Crimea, responsible for bombing civilians in Chechnya and Syria, the murder of Yuri Shchekochikhin, Anna Politkovskaya, Alexander Litvinenko, Sergei Magnitsky, Boris Nemtsov, other opposition politicians, civil activists, journalists and lawyers. "


Hearings about the alleged interference of Russia in the US presidential election in Washington. 21 June 2017

The Atlantic Council suggested that the US administration will use three criteria when compiling the lists: the person was close to the "regime"; the state of the person was obtained through corrupt commercial transactions with the "regime"; person, is a dummy holder of certain assets associated with the "regime."

At the same time, analysts tried to somehow narrow the scope of these criteria. "In itself, wealth earned is not considered reprehensible." Russians who followed the American (and in fact universal) dream of personal enrichment through success in entrepreneurship should be valued, not punished, "the Atlantic Council said.

The Universal American Dream

Former coordinator of the sanctions policy of the US State Department Daniel Fried said that the purpose of the report is to "nail to the shameful pole" those representatives of the Russian elite who support President Vladimir Putin. Also, according to Frid, the document should become a signal that "Russia's interference in our elections will cost a lot" to representatives of the elite. The latter are advised to "stay away" from the incumbent government.

Experts still explain who is included in the category of "oligarchs". "Big businessmen who make big profits from doing business with the Kremlin, some of them own companies together with friends of the [current president]," the Atlantic Council commented.

As you can see, the inclusion criteria are rather blurred. This allows you to add in them almost any noticeable official or businessman, as well as many companies with state participation.

"Attempt to influence elections"

And the "Kremlin report", and the bill itself is part of the war of nerves that the US administration wants to impose on the Russian elite. But it was supposedly only talked about who in Washington was "nailed to the pillory". The journalists mostly guessed, the officials refrained from commenting. Unless in January, Senator Rojder Vicker called for the inclusion in the report of businessman Alisher Usmanov and the Prosecutor General of Russia Yuri Chaika. But whether it was done, it was not reported.


Senator Rojder Vicker

Partner of the international law firm Herbert Smith Freehills Alexei Panich also believes that the "Kremlin report" in its present form is Washington's signal. "Do not try to influence Russian policy or somehow weaken your participation in it, for the Russian policy, as follows from the declaration to regulatory acts on sanctions, the US does not like," he explains.

Panich notes that the very situation with the report, the publication of which was announced in advance, created a certain tension. "When sanctions are applied, everything is clear: it can not be done, it can be done." But when it is unclear whether sanctions will be sanctioned or not, if so, which ones, there is a certain threat to the concrete person, there is an indistinction in the position of this person. creating a list, "said Herbert Smith's partner Freehills.

In turn, Vladimir Putin's press secretary Dmitry Peskov called the "Kremlin report" an attempt to influence the presidential election. "We really believe that this is a direct and obvious attempt to timed some actions to the elections in such a way as to influence them," Peskov said. He also said that "there will be no influence."

Philip Prokudin
RIA News
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