US releases list including names of Russian oligarchs but declines to implement new sanctions

US releases list including names of Russian oligarchs but declines to implement new sanctions

The U.S. Treasury has released a list that includes the names of Russian business and political figures as part of a law meant to punish Moscow for election meddling, but the Trump administration declined to implement new sanctions.

The report has the names of senior members of the Kremlin, CNN reported. It also includes the names of Russian oligarchs with a net worth of or more than $1 billion.

The administration clarified the report was not meant to be a "sanctions list." 

The list included 114 senior political figures with ties to Russian President Vladimir Putin, according to CNN. It also had 96 oligarchs.

Russia warned that publishing the names could have "very, very serious consequences," according to CNN.

"This is another step, which, obviously, leads to further escalation of tensions," Aleksey Chepa, deputy chairman of the State Duma's international affairs committee, told official news agency RIA Novosti.
 
Putin also said the move to release the list was a "hostile step," according to The Associated Press.
 
The release came after the Trump administration told Congress on Monday that bipartisan legislation passed last year authorizing new sanctions on Russia is already "serving as a deterrent," and there is no need to implement the penalties at this time.
 
A spokesperson for the State Department said the mere possibility of facing sanctions through the Countering America's Adversaries Through Sanctions Act has served as an effective countermeasure.

"Given the long timeframes generally associated with major defense deals, the results of this effort are only beginning to become apparent. From that perspective, if the law is working, sanctions on specific entities or individuals will not need to be imposed because the legislation is, in fact, serving as a deterrent," the spokesperson said.

The 2017 legislation allows President Trump to postpone imposing sanctions on people or entities if he determines they are largely scaling back their transactions with Russia's defense or intelligence sectors, as long as he notifies the appropriate congressional committees at least every 180 days that his administration is seeing such progress.
 
--This report was updated at 8:37 a.m.