Sanctions: a constant threat
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Sanctions: a constant threat

The Kremlin list, provided for by the Law on Countering America’s Opposition by Sanctions through (CAATSA) and published on January 29, included 114 officials and 96 “oligarchs” – people whose fortune exceeded $ 1 billion according to the sources believed to be reliable.

That is, the presence of a significant state in Russia, according to the authors of the report sanctions from the US Treasury, implies cooperation with the authorities and support for their actions.

This publication caused an ambiguous reaction. Many of the participants in the list are trying to explain why they should not have a relationship to this list or why their inclusion there is illegal. Other participants and experts emphasize that the list is taken “on the telephone directory and the Forbes rating” and in itself is as meaningless as it is arbitrary. And this is partly true: being on the list does not imply immediate sanctions, that is, in itself it does not really lead to immediate conclusions. Further, a concrete decision should be followed – more precisely, three new, already “sanctioned” lists: February, April and August.

“We are waiting for reports on specific measures to be sounded on February 2, and until then we see no opportunity to comment on the report of the US Treasury,” Igor Yurgens, a member of the board of the Russian Union of Industrialists and Entrepreneurs, told and has a reputation as one of Russia’s leading lobbyists .

There is an opinion that the current report does not bear a concrete semantic load: ostensibly, it’s just a reply. The law was adopted hastily, as soon as possible, and it is not really necessary to fulfill it. “One can, of course, assume that a report that even a high school student would have turned out to be more precise and meaningful and would require no more than one evening for preparation is just a screen behind which the closed part is hidden, and the results of this an investigation conducted by the CIA in the best traditions depicted in so many Hollywood films. But this is hard to believe: and because the authors themselves warn readers against using the findings of the report, and because even the entry, the deletion, the screen document should not contain gross factual errors, forgotten pieces and anachronisms is a bad style, unacceptable even in societies significantly less effective, “said Andrei Movchan, director of the Economic Policy program at the Carnegie Moscow Center. – Most likely, we have a very subtle way to let the congressmen understand: leave us with your stupidities, we do important work, we do not have time for your requests of this kind, do not expect cooperation from us on the topic. If so, Mount Langley gave birth to the mouse quite deliberately, and this could not have happened without a distinct signal from all the branches of power involved – a signal that although the show should continue, but there will not be wide public actions, everything must be released on the brakes “.

“This should in no case be interpreted as if we are not imposing sanctions against any of the people in this report,” – US Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin objected.

There is also an average point of view: this report is rather adequate to the Russian approach. As is known, in Russia “the strictness of laws is redeemed by the non-mandatory nature of their execution.” That is, the laws are so vast and allow for such a free interpretation that everyone can be convicted at any time – or not. And this list, seemingly randomly selected, simply leaves the US administration room for maneuver, and each of its participants is under constant threat, since leaving the list is much more difficult than getting into it.

“The people on the list are not yet under sanctions. But what will happen is completely unknown. And it is clear that sanctions will be determined by US interests and international law – for example, the US needs to maintain contacts in diplomacy, military cooperation. It’s about the personal assets of these individuals in the US, but the main focus is rather on the opportunities for their work with the EU. Because the USA is 4% of the external turnover of Russia, and the EU – 43%. And there is a question whether these sanctions will affect only personal interests or businesses in general. Almost all of Russia’s exports are behind these people. This is more a sign of anxiety than real consequences. And the final result will be the result of a compromise – but above all, taking into account the interests of the United States, “said Yakov Mirkin, head of the International Capital Markets Department at the Institute of World Economy and International Relations of the Russian Academy of Sciences.

“This is my personal opinion – not the opinion of the company. Actually this is not just a list. The US leadership assumed a special role – they identify themselves with all progressive mankind. And they called those who are against – 210 people, who in Russia are responsible for everything that Russia does and that the whole world does not like. It is very sad. The planet is small, and you can survive only if you are friends. Some participants laugh at this – as Khoja Nasreddin used to say, “when you get into a funny situation, you should laugh most loudly.” But in Russia they say: he laughs best who laughs last. And I do not want to laugh. It’s not on the list, we’re talking about global markets, about cooperation, about peace in the whole world. And what can we talk about here? It throws our market back and makes life harder, “argues the founder of the company” Alor “Anatoly Gavrilenko (senior).

There is also a simpler explanation of the consequences of the “list about anything”: the very fact of its existence. “There is nothing concrete, but in reality it is very serious: the key word is compliance. These procedures are very strict. Each of the businessmen has business with banks and financial institutions. And there has long been no business in good suits, namely, compliance, acting on the principle of “whatever happens,” – explains the president of the investment group “Moscow partners” Eugene Kogan. – Have taken the telephone directory, ranking Forbes. The list was obtained. In the end, everyone froze in bewilderment: Tinkoff got there (Oleg Tinkov, founder of TCS –, Lavrov (Sergey Lavrov, Russian Foreign Minister – – how to immediately break the relationship with them? I just know many people from the list who were called today and told that they “will work.” But any of this list is on the hook. Probably, this situation will be normalized. But so far, risk management for any request looks simple: “what to do with it and why do we need it?” We can joke, say that sanctions “help the economy,” but at any point in the world, at the talks, they first ask: “It’s not Russian?” Russian means toxic. ”

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