America targets Putin’s inner circle with sanctions in the event of an invasion of Ukraine | Russia

Washington and its allies have drawn up a list of Russian elites within or close to Vladimir Putin’s inner circle, who would face economic sanctions if the Kremlin orders an invasion of Ukraine, according to a US affidavit.

The language in the briefing given to Reuters by a US official is remarkably similar to that used on Sunday by Britain’s Foreign Secretary, Liz Truss, who said Britain will introduce the legislation To allow banks, energy companies and “oligarchs close to the Kremlin” to target London, and make it clear that the targeting will be coordinated internationally.

“The individuals we have identified are in or near the Kremlin’s inner circles and play a role in government decision-making or are at least complicit in the Kremlin’s destabilizing behavior,” said the official, who spoke on condition of anonymity.

The names have not been released, but the official said the sanctions list will consist of elite figures – or oligarchs – in addition to their family members.

“There is an extensive list of individuals from whom we can withdraw,” the official told Reuters, noting that some of them would be from a secret list of high-ranking Russian political figures and oligarchs outlined in Section 241 of the Countering America’s Adversaries Through Sanctions Act in a report. Sent to the US Congress in 2018.

That list contains 114 “prominent political figures” – though not Putin himself – and 96 “oligarchs”, even though it is over by three years.

Those close to Putin will no longer be able to use their spouses or other family members as proxies to evade sanctions. The official added that the sanctions would cut them off from the international financial system and ensure that they and their family members would no longer be able to enjoy the privileges of stopping their money in the West and attending elite Western universities.

A shorter list of eight identified individuals was published a year ago by an ally of jailed opposition leader Alexei Navalny, who was chosen from a longer list of 35 individuals. Their number included Chelsea Football Club owner Roman Abramovich, and metal magnate Alisher Usmanov, who has ties to Everton FC.

It is not known whether Abramovich or Usmanov appeared on the list of sanctions seen by the United States. Both denied that they are close to the Kremlin.

The UK’s announcement of new legislation targeting Russian entities and people triggered a violent response from Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov, who called the proposed measures an “outright attack on business” and threatened retaliation.

“The statements made in London are extremely worrying,” Peskov said during a telephone briefing. “I think it not only makes us, our companies, anxious, it also shows a great degree of unpredictability in London, which is a cause for great concern for international financial institutions and business entities.”

Peskov did not specifically respond to threats against wealthy Russians close to Putin, but described the threat of sanctions as illegitimate, saying they would harm Russian and British business interests.

“We should call it a spade: sanctions are a legitimate thing, formalized by a decision of the United Nations Security Council, while here we are dealing with an outright attack on business,” he said during the call.

Anti-corruption advocate Bill Browder He called on Britain to target the Russian oligarchy Close to Putin with economic sanctions to stop any invasion of Ukraine.

The American-born financier believes that the most effective way to get the Russian president’s attention is to target his finances and the money of those close to him, and that there should be no need for the UK to wait and see if there is a war.

“Five oligarchs should be punished tomorrow. This will show that there is a political will to do so. Then [they] Five more should be punished if they do not withdraw in the 10 days, and the best 50 if they invade,” Browder told the Guardian.

Truss expects that Legislation unveiled in the House of Commons Monday afternoon to allow Britain to target businesses and elite individuals.

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