Russia's former Finance Minister urges businessmen to brace for sanctions after US published the 'Kremlin List'

The Kremlin List, published by the US Treasury, is a list of businessmen and government officials who may fall under US sanctions in the future. The list has already begun to affect the work of Russian companies, the Head of the Center for Strategic Research (CSR) and former Finance Minister Alexei Kudrin stated, Interfax reports.

"These are not just sanctions that will come later. Unfortunately, it is already taking effect," the former Finance Minister told reporters on the sidelines of the RUIE (Russian Union of Industrialists and Entrepreneurs) summit in Moscow.

According to Kudrin, the companies, whose owners or heads made the list, have already faced additional control measures by Western partners and banks. Kudrin also noted that it is important what rules in this regard will be established "inside our country." "I would like to see these opportunities compensate for the partial losses that we have," he added.

One of the persons named in the Kremlin List, the head of Russian energy corporation LUKOIL, Vagit Alekperov stated that the very existence of the list was already taking a toll on business despite the fact that the sanctions against the people named in it had not yet been imposed. Answering the questions of journalists, he called the document published by US Treasury a "real list" and assessed its impact on his business as "significant," RBC news agency reports.

"LUKOIL operates in the global market, and this affects our transactions. There is no danger but there may be a delay in the approval of credit resources, attraction of funds in our markets," Alekperov said. Responding to the question of RBC on whether the banks began to request additional papers from LUKOIL after Alekperov was put on the list, he said, "Nothing has been requested yet."

According to the Chairman of the PARNAS opposition party Mikhail Kasyanov, three people named in the list had already been asked to close accounts in foreign banks and one other businessman was asked to take his son out of a Swiss private school.

The US Treasury published the Kremlin List on January 30, with a total of 210 people, including Russian government officials headed by Dmitry Medvedev, the heads of major Russian state companies, and members of the Russian Forbes list with wealth worth more than $1 billion.

The document was prepared within the framework of the bill "On Countering America's Adversaries Through Sanctions Act" and sent to the US Congress, but does not in itself imply automatic imposition of sanctions against the persons listed therein.

Shortly before the publication of the "Kremlin Report," Bloomberg reported that businessmen from Russia, fearing to get into the field of view of the US Treasury Department, try to protect their wealth and reputation in advance by carrying out "stress tests" on possible consequences, getting rid of assets in the US jurisdiction, or with the help of lobbyists, trying not to get into it at all.

At the end of 2017, the Russian authorities began to develop measures designed to facilitate the return of Russian businessmen's capital from abroad. Russian President Vladimir Putin ordered the government and Central Bank to ensure the issuance of special currency bonds in 2018 to return capital to Russia, and in early February the State Duma adopted on second reading a bill that extends the Amnesty deadlines for the capital transferred abroad.

  US Treasury, Kremlin report, Kremlin list, Kudrin