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30 Jan, 2018 06:51

‘Kremlin List’ portrays those featured as ‘enemies of US,’ signals ‘breakdown of ties’

‘Kremlin List’ portrays those featured as ‘enemies of US,’ signals ‘breakdown of ties’

Moscow has reacted to the US Treasury ‘Kremlin List’ by saying it is tantamount to a breakdown of ties, de facto calling those featured “enemies” of Washington. The list includes the whole Russian government.

“You can see that de facto everybody [included on the list] is called an enemy of the US,” Dmitry Peskov, spokesman for the Russian president, stated on Tuesday.

He added that the text and the headline of the document are written in accordance with the US Countering America's Adversaries Through Sanctions Act, signed into law by US President Donald Trump in 2017.

The spokesman said that the list has created an “unprecedented situation” and will be further analyzed in Moscow.

Earlier, top Russian senator Vladimir Dzhabarov said that the move amounts to almost a complete breakdown of ties between Moscow and Washington.

Formally our countries have relations, but including in the sanctions list almost all our country’s leadership means that those relations automatically break down,” Dzhabarov, who is First Deputy Chairman of the Federation Council Committee on Foreign Affairs noted.

He also called it “gross interference” in Russia’s internal affairs.

Russian Deputy Prime Minister Arkady Dvorkovich said earlier on Tuesday that the US Treasury’s ‘Kremlin List’ resembles a Who’s Who of Russian politics.

Dvorkovich said he was not surprised to find his name on the list.  

“As a member of the government, I was obliged to be on this list, the entire government is there, so there is nothing surprising. It is a list of individuals who are obviously the leading ones in Russian politics and business. This is not a sanctions list; it’s a list which is used for further decisions and assessments. We will continue to monitor the situation. There are no grounds for any action yet,” he told journalists in Novosibirsk.

The US Treasury’s ‘Kremlin List’ infringes on the principles of relations between the countries, making cooperation with Russia in different spheres practically impossible, Frants Klintsevich, the deputy head of a Russian upper house committee, said.

“I do not know what will follow this report, but its very appearance is unprecedented,” he noted.

The US Treasury’s list resembles a “Kremlin telephone book,” rewritten by the US special services, Senator Konstantin Kosachev said. It simply points to the fact that US intelligence “is desperate to find some provable compromising material on Russian politicians,” Kosachev wrote on Facebook.

Business Ombudsman Boris Titov, who is also the leader of Russia’s Party of Growth, said he was “taken aback” when he found his name on the list.

Noting that the US list also featured Mikhail Fedotov, chairman of the Russian Presidential Council for Civil Society and Human Rights, and Anna Kuznetsova, the children's rights commissioner for the Russian president, Titov likened the measure to a kidney punch. "They [the US] hit the ‘pianists’ playing for everyone, not for those in power. They have hit those who decent people usually do not shoot," Titov told Interfax on Tuesday. "Our job is to protect people from those in power… apparently, it is advantageous for the [US] to reduce the effectiveness of civil institutions [in Russia]."

The list came under fire from Moscow Mayor Sergey Sobyanin, who is also named.

“Such lists could not be thought of even in the worst periods of history. Measures like these do not split, they unite [people],” he wrote on VKontakte (VK).

The US Treasury’s list features a total of 114 Russian political figures, including Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev, head of Russian Security Service (FSB) Aleksandr Bortnikov, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov, and First Deputy Prime Minister Igor Shuvalov, as well as all Russian ministers, Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov and Defense Minister Sergey Shoigu among them.

The ‘Kremlin List’ also names as many as 96 Russian businessmen – from the heads of the biggest banks to heads of major transport companies. It also includes top Russian businessmen Alisher Usmanov and Roman Abramovich.