The US government plans to impose sanctions against certain people named in last month’s “Kremlin List” in the near future, according to Steven Mnuchin, the US Treasury Secretary.
The Secretary made this statement Wednesday in a hearing before the Senate Finance Committee. He was discussing actions to take place in accordance with the CAATSA (Countering America’s Adversaries Through Sanctions Act) which allows the US government to sanction third parties who make deals with Russian Defense sector companies. The US government has delegated the matter of Russia’s intelligence and defense sector to the State Department, while Treasury handles the oligarchs and government leaders, according to Mnuchin.
The January 29th release of the Kremlin list has its own share of controversy. An expert on Russian affairs who was consulted on the creation of this list noted that the original list was to finger those oligarchs who had gained their fortunes through corruption through their ties with President Vladimir Putin. However, right before the release, this list was removed from consideration and then replaced with the list taken straight from Forbes magazine’s list of wealthy Russians, apparently at the order of a high-level administration official.
The document itself specifically says that it is not a sanctions list, nor is anyone in either the unclassified OR classified parts of the document to be placed under sanctions because of this list.
Mnuchin’s comment, therefore, seems to be a vague threat that either has no basis in reality or calls on some other source of information in its forthcoming assessment. As the story develops we will continue to follow its developments.