The United States will still impose sanctions against the Kremlin list. Back in 2002, Vladimir Putin, urging the oligarchs not to keep money offshore, said his legendary phrase: "The dust will swallow, running through the courts in an attempt to unfreeze these funds". Since then, 16 years have passed, but even under the direct threat of sanctions, most domestic capitalists prefer to swallow dust than to return money to their homeland.
What everyone was waiting for happened: the US said that they were still preparing sanctions against the persons mentioned in the "Kremlin report". US Treasury Secretary Stephen Mnuchin, speaking in the financial committee of the Senate of the US Congress 14 February, announced the preparation of new sanctions against the persons mentioned in the so-called Kremlin report, which was welcomed by Trump."I reported to the President on the process of imposing sanctions, he welcomed new sanctions ... The President delegated to me the duty to impose sanctions against the Russian Federation. I represent the administration. And I assure you, there will be sanctions against Russia. It is impossible to express myself more precisely. Work on the introduction of sanctions is underway, Said Mnuchin. The new sanctions of their Ministry of Finance, as the head of the department promises, will affect Russian businessmen and statesmen, and the State Department will introduce restrictive measures against the Russian defense industry and special services.
Recall, 30 January 2018, the US Treasury published the so-called Kremlin report. The document, where the names of 114 Russian officials and heads of state companies were named, as well as 96 businessmen who allegedly belong to the "closest circle of Vladimir Putin," although, in fact, they are a list of civil servants and oligarchs from the first hundred Forbes. Initially, it seems that the Americans were not going to impose sanctions, the Ministry of Finance, when publishing the list, stressed that "this report is not a sanctions list". "Inclusion in an unclassified report does not mean that the US government has information about the person's involvement in any malicious activity", - the statement said. And the US State Department spokesman, Heather Nauerth, after the publication of the "Kremlin report", stated that "While there is no need to introduce new sanctions, including against the defense enterprises of Russia, since there are already enough sanctions mechanisms in place."
However, immediately after the publication on the White House went a massive roll on all sides. People from the Atlantic Council of NATO immediately accused Trump that he substituted the report, the media staged a bacchanalia with a cry of "treason," and Deputy Chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee Ben Cardin said that the legislature will hold hearings on this matter. "I think that the president is blocking the steps that the Congress intended to take", - stressed the senator.
Standing out here was the newly appointed minister himself, Mnuchin, who, with his sanctions, got in the way of the State Department's father and with his statements could really disrupt the bidding for Ukraine in Munich, where one of the "buns for Russia" was scheduled for the abolition of sanctions.
At the same time, the freezing of our assets is postponed, as the US itself can be hooked. In the report, the US Treasury concluded that sanctions against Russia's public debt would provoke "negative consequences for global financial markets and companies," Bloomberg reported. "The market continues to create a safety cushion in the event of inflationary volatility and further sales", - notes the strategist FTN Financial Jim Fogel. Earlier today, the yield of ten-year securities reached a new high for more than four years at the level of 2,944 percent. While this is far from the crisis, but even their Ministry of Finance does not promise that freezing almost 500 billion will not provoke the effect of dominoes and sell-off of government bonds. The same was stated by the journalists and Deputy Finance Minister Sergei Storchak in the sidelines of the Russian Investment Forum in Sochi.
"Yes, I read. I understand that they did not make any special confidentiality from it ... This is a sound analysis of the state debt on its structure, in place and role of foreign borrowers. A high assessment was given of the role that the Russian debt market plays in the global system, that this is part of the global system. Why and if some take measures, restrictions in this area, then the global debt market can catch ", - said the Deputy Minister of Finance. At the same Storchak, answering the question, can one now not be afraid of the spread of American sanctions on the Russian state debt, said: "Policy issues at any time can pull the economic factor."
But with politics issues there is quite bad - one way or another, but the White House was again squeezed, which means that in this kingdom it is already quite wrong. This is partly understood by our oligarchs and state-owned companies, although so far only a small part of them. So, a relatively large inflow of capital occurred in January this year, as reported by the head of Sberbank Private Banking Evgenia Tyurikova. According to her, the main reason for this trend was the expectations of new sanctions. "The last week of December and January, it seems to me, everyone lived under the fact that now 29 January and 2 February will be sanctions, and let's start somewhere somewhere" - she noted.
For the first two weeks of the new year, the amount of funds that went to the divisions of the corporate investment business of the Sberbank group increased three-fold compared to that of last year. In total, the "average check" of the company's wealthy customers increased from 2,3 million to 3,8 million. Recall that the threshold for the entrance to Sberbank Private Banking is at the level of 100 million rubles. Along with this, as the head of the SPB explains, in the January inflow, money, as a rule, came from Switzerland. But there were cases when the finances came from Austria and Great Britain, but their amounts were not so significant. However, to say that they were all scared only of the "Kremlin list", it is impossible - they were helped in this by Europeans, who in their own way were preparing to publish the list. As EU Commissioner for Economic and Financial Affairs Pierre Moscosici stated on 13 February, personal identity of bank accounts is now open information. Banks of the Old World can now safely reveal the secrets of investors - their names, the amount of investment, dividends, the amount of money transactions and other in-depth information. All information will not only be transferred to European tax authorities, but also accumulated in databases of other countries, including the United States. As we understand, for many oligarchs - it's a blow lower than the back.
At the same time, the sale of Western assets begins. Swiss "daughter" Renova Vekselberg Avelar Energy Group continues to attempt to sell part of the assets. As it became known to Forbes, the group put up for sale its company Geogastock, which owns a concession for 40 years for the construction and operation of one of the largest gas storage facilities in Italy for 1 billion cubic meters of gas. The total cost of the project was € 400 million, previously it was known about Renova's investments in the project € 30-40 million. The Forbes source, which received the Renova proposal, said that the price of the gas storage in the region is $ 50 million. The Geogastock project is one of the strategic national projects of Italy, providing a mechanism for the return of investment at the expense of the state. According to the partner of RusEnergy Mikhail Krutikhin, Vekselberg sells the business, as it is afraid of the development of the situation with sanctions.
And then it became known from the report of Gazprom for the fourth quarter of 2017: the company closed accounts in the Russian division of Deutsche Bank. Gazprom held three settlement accounts in OOO Deutsche Bank, in rubles, dollars and euros and two transit accounts in dollars and euros, the company's report for the third quarter of the year 2017 said. Experts do not exclude that a significant part of Russian state companies have already closed or are in the process of closing accounts in foreign banks' daughters. This is confirmed by the fact that in January the head of the Savings Bank, German Gref, arranged a memorial service for the European branches that were leaving him prematurely. to close because of sanctions (in this case, a branch in the Crimea, which was not opened, so that the Ukrainian branch of Sberbank did not fall under sanctions, did not appear).
Here, of course, it would be possible to rejoice - they all understood, and Friedman, Abramovich and others are rushing to invest money in domestic production, agriculture, pharmacology, science, and so on. However, in fact, if the state corporations, which have already realized that they do not, do not hurry after the parenthesis, the rest do not hurry home. Recall that last summer, the US Treasury estimated the state of the Russian rich at about 1 trillion dollars, and the return, let and 2 billion - is only 2 thousandths of the total. The remaining "wealthy citizens" either took a wait-and-see attitude, hoping that they would carry or hire lobbyists to convince the State Department of their loyalty, or they try to negotiate special preferential terms or forgive their crimes for the Russian government.
It is only clear that it will not carry on, on that side no longer think about either economic or political benefits - there is an intraspecific struggle, where Russia and the oligarchs are nothing more than an excuse and the opportunity to prick the enemy. Therefore, lobbying is useless there - what is the point of negotiating with the State Department, if tomorrow Congress or the Ministry of Finance simply ignore it. Yes, and bargaining on preferential terms something was delayed. It seems that the government of Medvedev was going to make concessions to them, but either concessions are not enough, or the oligarchs' wives are very much beyond, but the matter stands still on the dead end.
What will happen in the end, it is no longer difficult to predict - one way or another, even following the "step forward, two years ago" scenario, sanctions will be imposed and put under strict control against everyone on the list in order not to give rise to being accused of working for Russia. And then a show of exhilaration, hysteria, sharp outbursts of love for the Motherland, threats, curses against Russia and pulling out the remains of hair (although taking into account the national composition of most oligarchs, the ritual sprinkling of bald spots with ash will be more appropriate).
True, there are vague doubts that there will be at least some sympathizing with this "poor naive deceived crumbs" - you were warned yet 16 years ago.