Liberal and pro-government Russian experts reacted to the Kremlin list compiled by the U.S. Treasury Department. Both camps seemingly concurred that the list resembles a lengthy roster of names copied from the Yellow Pages. Aleksey Makarkin a leading expert at the Center of Political Technologies also noted that if Russian immigrants abroad had been assigned the task of compiling the list, they would have done a better job.
Commenting on the report, Anatoly Chubais, chairman and CEO of RUSNANO, a $10 billion Russian government-owned fund created for the commercialization of nanotech, said facetiously: "I understand that I'm guilty! I am guilty of not having been included on the 'U.S. enemies' list. I frantically look for self-justification. Here you go: after all we are also a quite decent company!"
Below are some reactions by Russian pundits to the Kremlin list:
Russian Expert Makarkin: There Are People Included In The List, Who Have No Influence On Anything
Aleksey Makarkin, a leading expert at the Center of Political Technologies, pointed out: "This is actually a list from the Yellow Pages and Forbes. There are many people who are not included, and there are people included who do not have an influence on anything. There are no Putin's friends – [Russian cellist and businessman Sergey] Roldugin for example [is not in the list], because the category of' 'close friend' is hard to evaluate. This list is prepared by American clerks, who were not tasked with delving deeply [into the matter]."
Makarkin added that if Russian immigrants abroad were in charge of compiling a list, they would have included the well-known talk show host on the Russia 1 TV channel, Vladimir Solovyov, and prominent television pundits and head of the news agency Rossiya Segodnya, Dmitry Kiselyov.
(Kommersant.ru, January 30, 2018)
Russian Analyst Milov: Instead Of A Comprehensive Report, The U.S. Presented The Yellow Pages
In his column, titled "The Emptiness Of The 'Kremlin Report' Showed That Trump Hopes To Reconcile With Putin," Russian analyst Vladimir Milov wrote:
"… Instead [of a comprehensive report], 'The Yellow Pages' are presented. To be honest, this is a fairly straightforward declaration [on the part of Washington]: 'We do not want anything and will not do anything' [the U.S. Treasury Department further explained: 'inclusion in the report does not constitute the determination by any agency that any of those individuals or entities meets the criteria for designation under any sanctions program']. It was hard to come up with another way to make this clearer. Russian officials and moguls are now very happy and are practically celebrating: 'Whoa, dodged a bullet!'…
"From this kind of ' slipshod manner' attitude it is clear that Trump's administration does not want and will not publish a detailed report on the financial and organizational insights of the Putin system of power.…
"Trump’s administration understands all of this well, and that is why allowed such a relaxed step as the publication as 'The Yellow Pages' publication instead of a comprehensive report. Trump clearly counts on reconciliation with Putin and is waiting for the convenient moment for this - the closing of [Special Counsel Robert] Mueller's investigation on Russian interference in the elections, some other twists of the political agenda [See Justice Department says Mueller probe lawful, Reuters, February 3, 2018]. I think, Putin heard and approved the signal."
(Theins.ru, January 30, 2018)
Vladimir Milov (Source: Gazeta.ru)
Russian Analyst Morozov: 'Toxic' Russia Cannot Be An Alternative Design To The West
Russian analyst Aleksandr Morozov wrote in the Russian media outlet The Insider that the list covers two groups: the Putin diehards and those who have failed to jump off the carousel in time.
"The major problem with the 'Putin's list' is obvious: it is 'either-or'. Either a part of the list will 'come to its senses' and take responsibility for the country's future, thus making themselves history, or this is a list of people who commit historical suicide. There is no 'third option'.
"We see that the part of the Russian elite, which understands full well that Putin with his Ukrainian issues and scandal with the American elections has gone too far, is currently in a state of sleepwalking and can't take responsibility for the future… [The Russian elite] understands full well that 'toxic' Russia, constructed by Putin, has no distinct historical support– it cannot provide an alternative design to the West."
(Theins.ru, January 30, 2018)
Russia's Former Finance Minister Kudrin: The List Is Illogical
Head of the Center for Strategic Studies, former Finance Minister Alexey Kudrin wrote in his Twitter account: "The so-called 'Kremlin List' is a formal execution of the hastily adopted law. The law itself, the list and possible sanctions are illogical. This is both their weakness and their power. It should be treated calmly, and there is no need to break relations. It is necessary to take measures to overcome this stage."
(Tass.com, January 30, 2018)
Senator Kosachev: The U.S. Keep On Fabricating Nonexistent 'Facts'
Senator Konstantin Kosachev, Head of the Federation Council’s Committee on Foreign Affairs, wrote in his Facebook account:
"A first acquaintanceship with the 'American list' delivered yesterday by the Treasury Department to the Congress creates the steady feeling (at least in the 'political' appendix) that the U.S. intelligence agencies — desperate to find that promised and (most importantly) verifiable dirt on Russian politicians — simply copied the Kremlin’s phonebook. Without exception, everyone 'on the list' is the head of some Russian state agency...
First- [We have] the inconsistency of the claims and, consequently, the haplessness of the Americans who, with stubbornness worthy of a better cause, are trying to convince the world with evidence of a 'Russian threat'. They are wasting their time.
"Second – Month after month, they pass the 'hot potato' back and forth from Congress to the administration. In so doing, America keeps this topic afloat by cooking up nonexistent 'facts' and 'versions' without any reason. And that’s how it will be from now on. But the king appears to be naked.
"Third – This is a serious longstanding problem. As you know, political paranoia is very hard to treat especially when the patient denies that he is ill and refuses to undergo treatment.
"Russia is unaccustomed to it, [however], the last few years have taught us that we must be ready for economic surprises and political baseness. Only the strong are respected and only the strong receive consideration. We are becoming stronger and we are on the true path.
"On the false one is - the U.S. relationship with Russia (exactly so: not bilateral relations, but American to Russian ones). The consequences are extremely toxic and will undermine the prospects for cooperation for years to come. These relations are not going to be normal at least for as long as Washington will be run by the current generation of politicians who were formed during the Cold War and they will not squeeze from their souls, drop by drop, this manic idea of 'American exceptionalism'."
(Meduza.io, January 30, 2018; Facebook.com/profile.php?id=100002123135703, January 29, 2018)
Konstantin Kosachev (Source: Cont.ws)
Senator Klintsevich: The U.S. Has Crudely Violated All Possible Principles Of International Relations
The First Deputy Chairman of the Russian Federation Council’s Defense and Security Committee Franz Klintsevich: "It actually includes practically all of the nation’s key figures. I do not know what will follow in the wake of this list, but its very appearance has no precedents in global history. The United States has crudely violated all possible principles of international relations, making cooperation with Russia in various areas virtually impossible."
(Tass.com, January 30, 2018)
Prominent Russian Intellectual Lukyanov: The U.S. Wants To Reintegrate Russia Into The 'Good Society'
Contrary to many other Russian commentators, who dismissed the list as trolling the prominent Russian intellectual Fyodor Lukyanov considers it well-designed. In his column for the Russian government daily newspaper Rossiyskaya Gazeta, Lukyanov wrote: "The goal for implementing the sanctions may be dual. It's either to push Russia back into a framework acceptable to the U.S., i.e. to incorporate Russia back into the paradigm of 'correct development', or on the contrary to cordon it off with a fence of limitations for long term and comprehensive containment.
"The sanctions bill, adopted last summer [PL 115-44 (CAATSA) passed by Congress on August 2, 2017], seemingly gave priority to the first course of action, which corresponds to the dominant framework of the post-Cold War era. The supporters of this course thought that Russia developed in a wrong way mainly because of its own faults, but partially due to Western mistakes, but they also thought that the situation is reversible and the Kremlin could be 'corrected' by a combination of various policies. [They thought that] upon a successful strategy Russia could be integrated back into 'the good society'. However, this worldview is not shared by Trump and his associates."
Trump, argues Lukyanov will let countries live the way they want but depending on the circumstances, he will either ignore them or apply fierce pressure. The absence of concrete sanctions measures in the report does not mean that such measures will not be applied. Vagueness gives the administration flexibility. The defense doctrine adopted two weeks ago identifies Russia together with China as a rival. The age of neoliberal globalization is over and Trump is putting America first. In that situation, money becomes ours or that of others i.e. "desirable or undesirable". Trump will use the sanctions weapon to help America.
(Rg.ru, January 30, 2018)
Fyodor Lukyanov (Source: Af.ru)
 See also MEMRI Special Dispatch No. 7315, Russian Analyst Tymofeev: Being In The Kremlin List Requires a Choice: 'You Have To Decide Whose Side You Are On, The Whites Or The Reds', February 4, 2018.
 Vedomosti.com, January 30, 2018.