The US Ministry of Finance contributed more than 200 people to the so-called Kremlin report, which contains information on high-ranking officials and businessmen close to the leadership of Russia. The list was published by the Financial Times newspaper, as well as other media, but it is not on the website of the US Treasury. In the list of 210 people - 114 officials and 96 "oligarchs". It included, in particular, the chief executive officer of Rosneft Igor Sechin, the chairman of the board of Gazprom Alexei Miller, the speaker of the State Duma Vyacheslav Volodin and the speaker of the Federation Council Valentina Matvienko. Also on the list are the head of the presidential administration of Russia Anton Vaino, the press secretary of Vladimir Putin Dmitry Peskov, the FSB director Alexander Bortnikov, the head of Rosteha Sergey Chemezov, the president of VTB Andrey Kostin and the president of the Savings Bank German Gref, the energy minister Alexander Novak, the advisers of the Russian president Herman Klimenko and Sergei Glazyev, the Minister of Transport Maxim Sokolov, the general director of Russian Railways Oleg Belozerov, the Minister of Agriculture Alexander Tkachev.
In the list were all the leaders of the presidential administration, his assistants and advisers, Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev and the entire Cabinet.
The "Kremlin report" includes businessmen whose state, judging by reliable public sources, is estimated at $ 1 billion or more, said the US Treasury, in particular: Roman Abramovich, Alisher Usmanov, Suleiman Kerimov, the creator of Kaspersky Lab, Eugene Kaspersky, Vagit Alekperov , Leonid Mikhelson, Mikhail Fridman, Mikhail Gutseriev. In the list were also Oleg Deripaska and Yuri Milner. Thus, the list of the US Treasury got the first 96 businessmen from the Russian part of the list of billionaires Forbes, published in April 2017.
Deputy Prime Minister Arkady Dvorkovich stated that he was not surprised by the fact that he was in the "Kremlin report": "As a member of the government was obliged to be on this list, the whole government is there, nothing surprising in this. This is a list of people who are obviously leading in Russian politics and business ... There are no grounds for action yet "(quoted by TASS).
Rosneft is also not surprised by the inclusion of Sechin in the list and believes that in this step there is nothing right and logical, Tass said Rosneft spokesman Mikhail Leontiev.
The representative of Lukoil (co-owner Vagit Alekperov) declined to comment. A representative of Basel (Deripaska owns its main assets through this structure) did not comment on the situation. Representatives of Alexander Frolov and Roman Abramovich have not yet responded to the request of Vedomosti. Inter RAO refused to comment. Representatives of Evtushenkov, Potanin, Russneft (owner Mikhail Gutseriev) do not comment on the situation.
Most representatives of businessmen do not understand how to comment on this news. "Well, the owner of our company got on the list, we told him, and then what? It's unclear, it's good or bad - the consequences are not clear, "some representatives of Russian businessmen agree.
Who did not get into the "Kremlin report"
Despite the impressive size of the list, there were no heads of large state companies, state corporations and state-owned banks, as well as the chairman of the Accounting Chamber Tatiana Golikova and the chairman of the Central Bank Elvira Nabiullina. The American Ministry of Finance did not include the following top managers in the list of the following top managers: Anatoly Chubais, CEO of Rusnano Management Company, Rosnecom CEO Igor Komarov, Rosseteisk Pavel Livinsky, Gazprom Neft, Alexander Dyukov, Rostelecom CEO Mikhail Oseevsky, Chairman of the Board Rosselkhozbank Dmitry Patrushev, as well as the Chairman of the Board of FC Otkritie, which since late August is on reorganization in the Fund for Consolidation of the Banking Sector, Mikhail Zadornov. The absence of Nabiullina, Chubais and former Finance Minister Alexei Kudrin, who advises President Vladimir Putin on economic issues, explains FT with their liberal views.
Also on the list there was no general director of the ASV state corporation Yuri Isaev, general director of AHML Alexander Plutnik, OSK president Alexei Rakhmanov. True, the US Treasury stipulates that the list has a closed part, in which "officials can be included" who occupy positions lower than those involved in the first part of the list, and businessmen with a fortune of less than $ 1 billion.
The preparation of such a report is provided by the bill "On Countering America's Counter-Terrorism through Sanctions" (CAATS), which US President Donald Trump signed in August 2017.
Sanctions for those who fall under the radar are not threatened: they will not be introduced instantly to people on the list, explains Alan Kartashkin, partner of Debevoise & Plimpton LLP. But to people from him, their relatives and business partners will be increased attention, warns partner Nektorov Saveliev & Partners Ilya Rachkov. Problems can arise when opening accounts, concluding deals, these people can begin to perceive as toxic, he believes. Perhaps after the publication of the list there will be a law that will oblige the administration of the US president, under certain conditions, to introduce sanctions against people from it, says Kartashkin. To achieve the same exclusion from the list will be difficult or almost impossible, says Rachkov.
Business for the appearance of such a list was prepared for a long time and had a pretty nervous time. One of the most discussed topics was the upcoming sanctions and the Davos forum. Its participants told "Vedomosti" that at the end of last year there were many nerves, however, before the very publication of the list, all breathed out a little. Tired of being afraid, said one of the forum participants. Businessmen addressed in Washington to lawyers, lobbyists and former officials engaged in sanctions, writes Financial Times. "All my friends have been approached many times," Daniel Fried, a former US ambassador to Poland and a member of the US National Security Council, who is currently working at the Atlantic Council Analytical Center, told the newspaper. According to him, some suggested "paying well" for advice, how to act in order not to get on the list. Many people are still worried, but they are not taking any active steps to prevent getting on the list, the top manager of a large bank recently told Vedomosti: first they tried to do something, but then it became clear that all this was already useless for those who got under the radar.
Although the direct sanctions do not entail a list, the business was prepared for the appearance of its names in it, the tax consultant of a large company tells. "Some have already begun to wind down the business, behave as if they are already on the list, play in advance," said Daniel Tennenbaum, head of the International Sanctions Department at PwC (quoted by Bloomberg). To preserve their assets, many have changed their jurisdiction, including being transferred to Russia, the tax consultant says. All conditions for this are created by the Russian authorities: in 2018 a repeated amnesty of capital will be held, and by legalizing capital, businessmen can return it to Russia without paying taxes. Those who take advantage of the state offer, officials are ready to offer also a financial instrument - Eurobonds. Conditions and here the most profitable: the state does not intend to take taxes on income from exchange rate differences at the time of purchase and sale.
From today, the law "On Counteracting US Enemies through Sanctions" (CAATS), which ordered the US Treasury to draw up a black list, also begins to operate. The fundamental difference between the measures envisaged by CAATS and other sanctions is that now punishment can be applied to any counterparties of the company from the sanctions list, which concluded a significant deal with it, Kartashkin explains.
They are threatened with restrictions on the export of goods from the United States, the ban on receiving any financial services in the US and attracting funding with the participation of US banks and investors, the introduction of restrictions on property ownership in the United States and the ban on issuing visas and for entering the US management of the company and its controlling shareholders . It will be almost impossible to get out of these sanctions. CAATS enables Congress to block the president's decision to withdraw them. The same conditions were contained in the Jackson-Vanik amendment, which was adopted at the height of the Cold War in 1974 and imposed restrictions on trade between the United States and the USSR. It was canceled only after 38 years.
The report is made "exclusively at the request of CAATSA", it is not a list of sanctions, and the inclusion of individuals and organizations "in no way should be interpreted as imposition of sanctions on them," the document says. It also does not "reflect the intention" to impose sanctions, does not impose any obstacles, restrictions or bans on dealing with these people or organizations, "does not indicate that the US government has information" that these people are involved in any wrongful or harmful activity.
High-ranking politicians are included in the report in accordance with the definition given by the US Congress in the CAATSA law, the document says. For the purposes of this report, it is: the leaders of the presidential administration; members of the Cabinet of Ministers, ministers, heads of other key departments; Other high-ranking politicians, including heads of the State Duma and the Federation Council, members of the Security Council, heads of state companies.