US Treasury’s Kremlin Report
by Stephen Lendman (stephenlendman.org – Home – Stephen Lendman)
Trump is hostage to congressional and media Russophobic hostility – the darkest political chapter in US history since the scourge of Joe McCarthy communist witch hunts.
A so-called Treasury Kremlin Report lists scores of noted Russian politicians and businessmen – subject to possible unilateral/illegal US sanctions not so far imposed.
Putin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said “(w)e really believe that this is a direct and obvious attempt to coincide some actions with the election in order to influence it. We disagree with this and we are convinced that there will be no influence,” adding:
“The publication of the list itself does not mean anything. You know that the publication is not another sanction wave, but of course it will be necessary to examine it and analyze what actions will follow the publication. These actions, of course, will be analyzed in Moscow so that, in any case, our interests and the interests of our companies are ensured as much as possible.”
“We are preparing” for US attempts to interfere in Russia’s March presidential election. It’s “predictable.”
“(M)assive attacks on (President Putin) and on our country started long before the election. They are well prepared and orchestrated. We’ve always responded and will continue to respond to such attacks.”
US “attacks are aimed at stripping Russia of a strong leader” – a futile attempt to undermine Putin’s certain reelection by an overwhelming majority. Over 80% of Russians support him.
Names included in the Treasury’s Kremlin Report include Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev, Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov, Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu, other ministers and senior cabinet members, along with Russian businessmen.
The Kremlin Report stems from Washington’s Countering America’s Adversaries Through Sanctions Act (August 2017) – targeting Russia, Iran and North Korea.
Trump signed the measure into law despite calling it “seriously flawed.” House and Senate members passed it near unanimously – only 5 of 535 congressional members opposing it.
Countering Russian Influence in Europe and Eurasia provisions include:
— requiring the president to submit for congressional review certain proposed actions to terminate or waive sanctions with respect to the Russian Federation;
— maintaining executive order sanctions unchanged;
— permitting the president to waive specified cyber and Ukraine-related sanctions; and
— imposing sanctions for (1) cyber security, (2) crude oil projects, (3) financial institutions, (4) corruption, (5) human rights abuses, (6) evasion of sanctions, (7) transactions with Russian defense or intelligence sectors, (8) export pipelines, (9) privatization of state-owned assets by government officials, and (10) arms transfers to Syria.
The Kremlin Report says it’s “not a sanctions list, and the inclusion of individuals or entities in this report…does not and in no way should be interpreted to impose sanctions on those individuals or entities.”
It “does not create any other restrictions, prohibitions or limitations on dealing with such persons by either US or foreign persons.”
Russian Senator Vladimir Dzhabarov slammed the report, saying by targeting Russian leadership it “automatically break(s) down bilateral relations.”
They broke down under Obama, exacerbated under Trump, preventing him from improving relations.
The State Department informed Congress that sanctions already imposed on Russia “serv(e) as a deterrent,” precluding the need for additional ones.
Russophobic congressional members accused Trump of being soft on Moscow. Ranking undemocratic Dem House Foreign Affairs Committee member Eliot Engel accused Trump of “let(ting) Russia off the hook yet again.”
Senator Ben Cardin said the Trump administration should not hold back on imposing additional sanctions on Russia.
Russian ambassador to Washington Anatoly Antonov called US sanctions “a road to nowhere,” adding: “We will not be intimidated by the sanctions.”
Unilaterally imposed US sanctions on Russia and other countries are flagrantly illegal.
The world community should declare them null and void, instead of subserviently bending to Washington’s imperial will.
EU countries are notably obsequious, shooting themselves in the foot by failing to act responsibly.
Sino/Russian economic and political relations remain strong and undeterred by Washington’s hostile actions.
My newest book as editor and contributor is titled “Flashpoint in Ukraine: How the US Drive for Hegemony Risks WW III.”