“Kremlin report”: yellow card for sanctions or directory?

“Kremlin report”: yellow card for sanctions or directory?


«Кремлевский доклад»: желтая карточка или санкционный справочник?

The United States appreciated the “black list” of the U.S. Treasury

“Kremlin report” published by the U.S. Treasury in the night of Monday to Tuesday, disappointedly met on both sides of the ocean.

Russian officials and businessmen, anxious waiting for new sanctions, commented on the released document with ill-concealed relief. In Washington, the perplexities did not hide neither members of Congress nor the experts many research centers, has spent the last few months to prepare recommendations for this report.

“I was not involved in the preparation of the report, but, of course, had contact with representatives of the administration, and various agencies during the preparation of this document, – said the Russian service “voice of America” and former coordinator of sanctions policy at the state Department, the expert of Washington’s “Atlantic Council” Daniel fried. But at some point they completely changed course, and in the end, in my opinion, the administration just lost the initiative”.

That the publication of the “Kremlin report” rather demonstrates how it is the White house to the demands of the Congress, said the “Voice of America” and Director of Russian and Eurasian programs at the Center for strategic and international studies Olga Oliker.

“Congress said, “give us a list of wealthy and influential people who have some connection with the Russian government,” she said. And the administration said, “here’s a list of the people who work in the Russian government and here’s a list of the rich and powerful citizens.” In America there is a saying “Ask a stupid question – get a stupid answer”. The administration says Congress: “you told us to do – we did the minimum that we think is necessary””.

With a frustrated comments Tuesday were made by the representatives of the Democratic party in Congress and the Senate. According to legislators, they expect to see not only a list of officials and businessmen, members of the “inner circle” of President Putin, but also believed that on January 29, the administration will announce new sanctions against the defendants in this list.

“This is a flagrant violation of the President trump their duties, said the democratic Congressman Adam Smith, commenting on the release of the report. – He suggested (the Kremlin), the world, instead of held accountable for the attack on democracy in our country. We cannot allow these actions continued to go unpunished.”

The administration, however, hastened to assure legislators that the publication of the “Kremlin report” in the near future may lead to the announcement of new sanctions against the Kremlin.

“We will use this document as part of a course aimed at the introduction of sanctions,” – said Tuesday, speaking in Congress, the US Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin. According to him, the list was prepared by the analysts of the Ministry of Finance, the state Department and the National intelligence service of the USA on the basis of open sources, including media publications. For example, the list of Russian “oligarchs” were indeed taken from article of the magazine “Forbes” last year.

Steven Mnuchin refused to announce when it can be introduced further restrictions, but for the first time officially recognized that in addition to already published Treasury document, “Kremlin report” is much more informative “secret part”. Now, according to the head of the Ministry of Finance, the administration is prepared not only to discuss with members of Congress, the contents of the “private document,” but agree to make it public, if it will go the legislators.

“The classified portion of the report is a hundred pages, said Steven Mnuchin. – We anticipate that Congress will take a decision about its publication.”

The U.S. state Department on Tuesday also said that the administration had not planned to announce new sanctions against Russia on Monday, 29 December.

“According to the requirements of section 231 (law “On counteraction to enemies of America by sanctions”) on January 29 is the date that should be sanctioned, – said a senior state Department official during a telephone press briefing. – In fact, this is the day “start” (…) after which we can proceed to the imposition of sanctions.”

He stressed that in accordance with the decree of the President of the United States in recent months, the staff of the American diplomatic missions around the world, consultations and negotiations with representatives of governments and major companies, renamedwa them to refrain from carrying out transactions with enterprises of the Russian military-industrial complex.

“I can say publicly that as a result of this work (…) we managed to undo potential deals worth several billion dollars”, – said the representative of the state Department.

As he said, “the Atlantic Council” mark Simakovskiy published by the U.S. Treasury document confirms that the administration really intends to “take action against people who promote the interests of the Kremlin”, but has not yet decided when exactly this can be done.

“I think that sanctions will be applied in the future, and that the administration had not introduced them now, it shows indecision and an unwillingness to further damage us-Russian relations”, – he told the Russian service of “voice of America”.

According to Professor Columbia University political scientist Robert Legvold, the publication of the “Kremlin report” more evidence that the White house still has no strategy against Russia.

“There are sanctions imposed by the Obama administration for the Crimea, sanctions for intervention in Ukraine, sanctions for meddling in the election, sanctions under the Magnitsky Act, but we don’t know what effect and in which of these areas trying to get the administration, speaking about the preparation of the “Kremlin report” and the subsequent new sanctions, he said the Russian service “voice of America”. – If we want to make Russia a “painful”, we already have achieved, but to change its behavior through sanctions was not possible, and unlikely”.

Most experts, however, agree that the report may be regarded as another, a fairly serious warning, as a kind of “yellow card” shown to the Kremlin.

“The value of this list is to forewarn and defendants report and all those who are engaged with them that care must be taken when making deals with defendants in this list, – said the Russian service “voice of America” Director of the Kennan Institute at the International center Woodrow Wilson Matthew A. rojansky. Is the so-called secondary effect of the sanctions. Including all of the Russian government and all Russian billionaires in the list, the us administration reported two pieces of news. The first is that she is not planning to impose sanctions, but only issue a warning. But on the other hand, it demonstrates that in the future the sanctions can be entered against each of them.”