US releases list of Russian politicians, businessmen

ANI | Updated: Jan 30, 2018 19:56 IST

Washington D.C [USA], Jan 30 (ANI): The Trump Administration has released a list of Russian politicians and businessmen, who have "flourished" under Russian President Vladimir Putin's rule.

The US Treasury Department published the list through the Countering America's Adversaries Through Sanctions Act (CAASTA), which was meant to punish Russia for its alleged interference in the 2016 US presidential elections, the annexation of Crimea and the ongoing military operations in eastern Ukraine by the Russian forces, according to CNN.

The list, which has been dubbed as "Putin list", consists of around 114 Russian politicians and 96 businessmen and industrialists, who are having "extremely close" ties with Putin, Russian Prime Minister Dimitry Medvedev, chief spokesman Dimitry Peskov and Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov.

The Congress had pushed to release the list to take strict actions against Russia. The list was released by the Treasury Department shortly before midnight.

US State Department spokeswoman Heather Nauert said in a statement, "Since the enactment of the CAATSA legislation, we estimate that foreign governments have abandoned planned or announced purchases of several billion dollars in Russian defence acquisitions."

The Treasury Department stated that the list was "based on objective criteria drawn from publicly available sources."

The names of Russian businessmen and industrialists matched a list of 96 Russian billionaires, which was compiled by Forbes magazine last year.

Each of them is believed to have assets totalling to at least USD 1 billion or more, according to the Treasury Department.

Franz Klintsevich, the first deputy chairman of the Russian Federation Council's Defence and Security Committee slammed the publication of the list.

United States President Donald Trump on Wednesday planned to meet and speak with special counsel Robert Mueller soon, in connection with the Russian collusion investigation.

In a surprise move, Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) Deputy Director Andrew McCabe was reportedly stepping down from the post, two months before he was supposed to retire.

McCabe had constantly criticised Trump and Republicans in the past, in connection with Russia's alleged meddling in the 2016 elections. (ANI)