President Trump’s administration released a list of hundreds of Russian politicians and oligarchs who have “flourished” under the regime of President Vladimir Putin late Monday.
The 114 senior politicians and 96 oligarchs appeared on what is dubbed the “Putin list” following a demand by Congress that the U.S. punish Russia for interfering in the 2016 U.S. presidential election. The list was delivered shortly before midnight, the Congress-imposed deadline.
Those on the document include Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev, presidential spokesman Dmitry Peskov, oligarchs Roman Abramovich and Mikhail Prokhorov — who challenged Putin in the 2012 election — and top officials in the FSB and GRU spy agencies.
The list also includes aluminum magnate Oleg Deripaska, a figure in the Russia investigation over his ties to former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort.
The Treasury Department said of the oligarchs, each is believed to have assets totaling $1 billion or more.
Surprising, the Trump administration announced that nobody will be punished — for now — under new sanctions over the election-meddling. Some U.S. lawmakers said Trump was giving a free pass to those on the list, fueling further questions about whether the president is too soft on Russia.
Being on the list doesn’t trigger any U.S. sanctions on the individuals, although many are already targeted under earlier sanctions.
The Trump administration had until Monday to issue the list under a law passed last year. After declining to answer questions about it throughout the day Monday, the Treasury Department released it with little fanfare 12 minutes before midnight.
Putin said the “hostile step” targeted all Russians, but that his country would refrain from “tit-for-tat.”
“We expected this list and I won’t hide that we were ready to take tit-for-tat steps, rather serious ones, which could reduce our relations to zero. But we will refrain from these steps now,” he said, according to Russia’s TASS news agency.
Franz Klintsevich, the first deputy chairman of the Russian Federation Council’s Defense and Security Committee, said the U.S. “has crudely violated all possible principles of international relations,” TASS reported.
Trump said Wednesday that he’s willing to testify in Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 election, and that his testimony could take place within two to three weeks.
Earlier this month, Trump declined to commit to an interview with Mueller, claiming his testimony isn’t necessary for the Russia investigation he called a “Democrat hoax.”
Contributing: The Associated Press