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February 5, 2018 No.
7316

Reactions By Russian Politicians And Businessmen Included On The Kremlin List

On January 29, the U.S. Treasury Department released a list of Russian political leaders and "oligarchs", which was submitted to the Congress. The department was obligated to compile the report, known as the "Kremlin list", as part of PL 115-44 (CAATSA) passed by Congress on August 2, 2017.[1]

Commenting on the Treasury Department report, Russian President Vladimir Putin, who is not on the list, advised people to ignore it. Putin said: "What I have to say on this matter not on the list but on the matter as a whole  we need to think about ourselves more, address our economic issues, agricultural ones in particular, we also need to support our exports, healthcare and education, and boost our defense capabilities."

Putin then added: "Then they [the U.S.] will realize that there is no sense in drawing up any lists and trying to hamper our development. This is the main thing that we need to remember, because as they say, 'a barking dog cannot hinder a caravan’s journey'… The whole presidential staff, the government and all businesses [were included in the U.S. Kremlin List]. Behind each of these persons and organizations there are ordinary citizens of our country, labor staffs and whole industries. As a matter of fact all of us were put on some list. I cannot see what the meaning of such actions is."

The Russian president also termed the Treasury Department list an "unfriendly act". Putin stated: "It aggravates the already bad condition of Russian-U.S. relations and certainly harms international relations in general."[2]

The following are official reactions to the Kremlin list voiced by persons included in the U.S. Treasury Department report:[3]


(Source: Rossaprimavera.ru)

Presidential Administration

#6 On The Kremlin List – Russia's Presidential Spokesman Peskov: All Persons In The List Are Described As U.S. Enemies

Russia's presidential spokesman Dmitry Peskov stated: "In fact all [persons on the U.S. Department of the Treasury's "Kremlin list"] are described as U.S. enemies… A great deal of work is to be handled in order to understand some motivation and the reasons why [certain persons] were included or not included in the list. For now there are more questions than there are answers."

(Tass.com, January 30, 2018)


Dimitry Peskov (Source: Sputniknews.com)

#22 On The Kremlin List – Russia's Presidential Advisor On The Development Of The Internet Klimenko: The Important Thing Is Who Is Left Out Of The List

Russia's presidential advisor on the development of the Internet, German Klimenko, wrote in his Facebook account: "It's not for me to give advice to journalists, but the most important thing with any list isn't who shows up but who's left out."

(Meduza.io, January 30, 2018; Facebook.com/german.klimenko, January 30, 2018)


German Klimenko (Source: facebook.com/german.klimenko)

#26 On The Kremlin List – The Head Of Russia's Presidential Council On Human Rights Fedotov: 'What Was The Point Of Including People On This List?'

The head of Russia's Presidential Council on Human Rights Mikhail Fedotov said: "My name was already in the 'firing squad lists' in 1991 and 1993 composed by those organizing the putsch [the unsuccessful coup against Gorbachev and the fight between Boris Yeltsin and his opponents]. I hope the current list is not a hit list. Here's my question: what was the point of including people on this list? It's not hard to draw up a list of the president's advisors; you only need to glance at the administration's website to find a list of all advisors and aides.

"As I understand it, the only thing that might happen now is that American diplomats might not say hello or shake hands, when meeting me at diplomatic receptions. But these are polite people and I don't expect they'll do that."

(Meduza.io, January 30, 2018; Ria.ru, January 30, 2018)

Fedotov also added: "We should be building the relations rather than intensifying the conflict. All this is Cold War recidivism. Unfortunately, there are 'invalids of the Cold War' in both countries – politicians and political experts, whose head is turned back to the past. I've met such people on both sides of the Atlantics. Those are people who perpetuate the conflict between our countries and feed off each other… For them, it is a chess game: now it was the U.S'. turn to move."

(Vedomosti.ru, January 30, 2018)


Mikhail Fedotov (Source: Kremlin.ru)

#32 On The Kremlin List – The Presidential Commissioner On Entrepreneurs' Rights Titov: 'They're Targeting The Pianists Playing For Everyone, Not For The Authorities'

Boris Titov, the presidential commissioner on entrepreneurs' rights and a candidate in the 2018 presidential elections stated: "I'm the only presidential candidate appearing on that list. I'm the only presidential candidate who has a clear non-populist economic program. If we put feelings aside, the country has two choices: 'to soar in the clouds' with Alexey Kudrin [Head of the Center for Strategic Studies, Russia's former minister of finances, considered to represent liberal views] non-sanctioned and harmless to the West or buckle down and equip ourselves with 'a new economic weapon' made in Russia. They respect only the strong, the weak they hook on a line."

(Vedomosti.ru, January 30, 2018)

"I was a bit surprised, of course. They're hitting the 'pianists' playing for everyone, not for the authorities. Decent people don't normally put these folks in the crosshairs. We work to defend people from the authorities. [Head of Russia's Presidential Council on Human Rights Mikhail] Fedotov, [#31 on the Kremlin list, Russia's Presidential commissioner on children's rights Anna] Kuznetsova, and I. But apparently it's advantageous for them to reduce the effectiveness of our civil institutions like this."

(Meduza.io, January 30, 2018; Interfax.ru)


Boris Titov (Source: Valdaiclub.com)

Cabinet Of Ministers

#44 On The Kremlin List – Russian PM Medvedev: Moscow Will Respond To Further U.S. Anti-Russian Sanctions

Russian PM Dmitry Medvedev warned that Moscow will respond to further U.S. anti-Russian sanctions. Medvedev said: "If we talk about other consequences, certainly, all the authorities in our country, I mean the executive, the legislative power, and, of course, the president will keep a close eye on other forms of implementing this law. If they take place, they will be followed by a response. What response? It will be adequate to what happens."

(Tass.com, January 30, 2018)


Dmitry Medvedev (Source: Aif.ru)

#49 On The Kremlin List – Russian Deputy PM Dvorkovich: 'The List Looks Like A Book Of 'Who's Who In Russian Politics'

Russian Deputy Prime Minister Arkady Dvorkovich commented:

"As a member of the government, I simply had to be on this list. It's just a list of people who are clearly leaders in Russian politics, and the second list is all leaders in Russian business. So far, there are no grounds for any actions here. The list looks like a book of 'who's who in Russian politics'."

(Meduza.io, January 30, 2018; Interfax.ru)


Arkady Dvorkovich (Source: Axar.az)

#52 On The Kremlin List – Deputy PM Rogozin: Americans Are Always Playing For A 'Two-Move Checkmate'

Deputy PM Dmitry Rogozin noted: "The Americans remain true to themselves. Everywhere and always, they're always playing for a 'two-move checkmate.' First they frighten the people buying our weapons, and then they force them to buy only American weapons. In other words, they want to have their cake and eat it, too."

(Meduza.io, January 30, 2018; Interfax.ru)


Dmitry Rogozin (Source: Uznayvse.ru)

#56 On The Kremlin List – Russian Communication Minister Nikiforov: 'There May Be Other Lists Coming'

Russian Communications and Mass Media Minister Nikolai Nikiforov said: "We've always operated on the assumption that American sanctions are forever and they'll never be lifted. There may be other lists coming. Different ones, big ones, small ones — the main thing is that these relations are for the long-term. We see no factors that could change this state of affairs."

(Meduza.io, January 30, 2018; Interfax.ru)


Nikolai Nikiforov (Source: Minsvyaz.ru)

#58 On The Kremlin List – Russian Culture Minister Medinsky: I Have No Assets In The U.S., My Name Appearing On This List Is The Last Thing That Interests Me

The Russian Culture Minister Vladimir Medinsky opined: "This is a nomination really. It's an explicit recognition that inspires new achievements. I have no money, no property, and absolutely no assets in the United States, so my name appearing on this list is precisely the last thing in life that interests me."

(Meduza.io, January 30, 2018; Tass.ru, January 30, 2018)


Vladimir Medinsky (Source: Pravmir.ru)

Other Political Leaders

#75 On The Kremlin List – Russia's Federation Council Speaker Matviyenko: The List Is A 'Crude Intervention' In The Internal Affairs Of A Sovereign State

Federation Council Speaker Valentina Matviyenko commented: "The decision to include in this list the country's political leadership, including the prime minster, can be called in no way other than crude intervention in the internal affairs of a sovereign state. The very publication of this list on the eve of the presidential election is certainly crude intervention in the election process."

(Tass.com, January 30, 2018)

Matvienko also stated: "Publication of this list on the eve of the presidential elections is no doubt a blatant interference in the electoral process, an attempt to influence people's moods, to de-stabilize the situation within the society, to diminish the level of support for the president –knowing that it is very high. Entering the country's political leadership on such a list including the prime minister can only be called blatant intervention into a sovereign state's domestic affairs. Sirs, it's not for you to decide who will govern our country. Our people will decide that."

(Vedomosti.ru, January 30, 2018)


Valentina Matviyenko (Source: Women-politics.ru)

#77 On The Kremlin List – The Speaker of Russia's State Duma Volodin: The U.S. Sanctions Policy Led To The Strengthening Of Russia's Potential

The Speaker of Russia's State Duma, Vyacheslav Volodin, stated: "All kinds of sanctions against our country have been designed since 2014. They have resulted neither in changing our country's political course nor in weakening its sovereignty nor in internal disunity."

(Tass.com, January 30, 2018)

Volodin also noted: "The U.S. sanctions policy led to the strengthening of our potential. Now this is obvious to everyone. Our partners abroad see that as well… A policy of restrictions is a way for the U.S. leadership to force its own will upon other countries, so that they will abandon an independent course. Therefore, the stronger Russia becomes, the more attempts will be made to weaken our country… Moreover, those measures the U.S. wants to impose will affect many countries. The new restrictions implemented by the United States will cause significant damage to the interests of European business."

(Duma.gov.ru, January 30, 2018)


Vyacheslav Volodin (Source: Kremlin.ru)

#79 On The Kremlin List – Secretary of Russia’s Security Council Patrushev: The Kremlin List Is A Washington’s Attempt To Hide Domestic Problems

Russia’s Security Council Secretary Nikolai Patrushev said: "The U.S. policy in regional and international affairs, which envisages countering such external threats as Russia and China, is aimed at distracting the Americans’ attention from a difficult domestic situation in the United States, the accrued problems in social and economic areas, and also the authorities’ inability to effectively solve the problems they are facing, also due to the lack of coordination between the departments and agencies."

(Tass.com, January 31, 2018)


Nikolai Patrushev (Source: Uznayvse.ru)

#85 On The Kremlin List – Mayor of Moscow Sobyanin: 'The West Has Always Disliked Russia'

Moscow's mayor, Sergey Sobyanin, stated: "They carefully added the country’s entire political and economic elite to the 'Kremlin report,' so it would have been strange if they hadn’t included the mayor of the capital. The West has always disliked Russia, but even in the very worst times throughout history nobody ever dreamt up a list like this. Such measures will unite us, not divide us, leading to results that are the opposite of what this list’s authors wanted."

(Meduza.io, January 30 2018; Vk.com/wall265870743_227485, January 29, 2018)


Sergey Sobyanin (Source: Governors.ru)

Oligarchs

#9 On The Kremlin List Of Oligarchs – Russian Billionaire Anisimov: The List Is A Decent One, It Is Not A Shame To Be In It

The Russian billionaire businessman Vasily Anisimov commented: "And why should I be concerned? Someone wrote a list. So what? Of course, any restrictions don’t make me happy, regardless of what we are talking about. But no need to make a big deal out of it: time will put everything in its place… This list is quite respectable; it's no shame to be on it."

Anisimov then added: "Why did that happen? We have a strong, rich state where there are fossil fuels, brains and women that is why we attract such attention. But there are countries no one will think of imposing sanctions on. Therefore, we live here for a reason, we are lucky… We will get through…and those who impose those sanctions today will also understand everything soon, and the relationship will fall into place. Russia and the U.S. could do many important things together. Good sense must win out. It is only a matter of time."

(Rbc.ru, January 30, 2018)                                                                          


Vasily Anisimov (Source: Rns.online)

#37 On The Kremlin List Of Oligarchs – CEO Of Kaspersky Labs: 'The List Is 100-Percent Identical To Forbes' List'

The head of the global cyber-security company Kaspersky Labs, Evgeny Kaspersky, wrote in his Twitter account: "The list doesn’t impose any sanctions or restrictions on those named. Our company works like any company: we protect users from cyber-attacks, regardless of their origin. The list is 100-percent identical to Forbes’ list. The officials who compiled the list don’t understand the meaning of the word 'oligarch,' or they wouldn’t have included my name and the names of many other businessmen who have no connection to the state authorities."

(Meduza.io, January 30 2018; Twitter.com/e_kaspersky_ru, January 30, 2018)

 


Evgeny Kaspersky (Source: Twitter.com/e_kaspersky_ru)

#48 On The Kremlin List Of Oligarchs - VTB Bank CEO Kostin: U.S. Sanctions On Russian Institutions, Are A Declaration Of War

In an interview with the Financial Times (January 23, 2018), Andrey Kostin, the head of Russia's leading bank, VTB bank, warned that if the U.S. continued applying economic sanctions on Russian institutions, it would constitute "a declaration of war".

Speaking to the Russian news agency Ria.ru, Kostin went further:

"What do such lists [of sanctions] mean? To identify businessmen, who are close to Putin, remote from him? Putin is a lawfully elected president of a great country, and sanctions [based] on intimacy or friendship [with him] are insane. I have no other words."

(Ria.ru, January 23, 2018)

Kostin added: "I think this is what the West is seeking. I think they are trying to apply major pressure on Russia through sanctions in order to make Russia change its government and president for some one more suitable for them [i.e. the West]. I think this is an economic war; it's not merely a trade war… This is indeed a full scale attack on Russia, on Russian society with major pressure on the economy. This is a huge economic war. I'm speaking seriously and we will treat it most seriously".

(Ria.ru, January 24, 2018)

Kostin gave his explanation: "I can't influence the situation since the sanctions are not a result of my work nor of my activity. I'm a banker, I do have good banking practices in my bank, I did break any rules in the US or anywhere in the world, and if they are punishing me- they are punishing for purely political reasons, since I think there are people who do not particularly like Mr. Trump and who try to play the Russian card against him."

(Ria.ru, January 24, 208)


Andrey Kostin (Source: Kp.ru)