Putin mocks at US, says sad for not being included in US sanctions list
MOSCOW - The Russian president has commented on the report, released by the US administration on Monday, which includes a list of 114 Russian politicians and 96 businessmen who may face new US sanctions in the future.
The US Treasury Department intends to impose new anti-Russian sanctions in "near future," within next several months, according to Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin. This comes after earlier in the day, Mnuchin said "there will be sanctions that come out <link>" of the so-called "Kremlin report" that was released on Monday.
Reaction of Russian Establishment
Commenting on the release of the report, President Putin joked he was "sad" that he hadn't been on the list, adding that he only heard of the document from his colleagues but hadn't seen it.
"We [Russia] need most of all to think about ourselves, we need to deal with our economy, agriculture, we need to support exports, health, education, defense," Putin noted, saying Russia needs to focus on its internal development rather than on a list prepared by foreign states. If Russia is fully developed, he added, there will be a common understanding there is no point "in compelling any lists, threatening [Russia] or trying to deter our development."
[image: A portion of Russian Embassy complex in in Washington. File photo] The Russian president went on to say that the report represents an unfriendly step by the US administration, saying that it harms Moscow-Washington relations. Putin pointed out that that people behind the report are attacking their own government, by pushing it toward confrontation with Moscow.
Despite that, Moscow will refrain from retaliatory measures and will act in accordance with the development of the situation, Putin added, saying that Russia is in favor of development of relations with the US.
President Putin's reaction to the report follows statements <link> made by the representatives of Russia's establishment, including Prime minister Dmitry Medvedev, Kremlin press secretary Dmitry Peskov and Russian upper house speaker Valentina Matvienko.
While Peskov said that the inclusion of top Russian politicians and businessmen in the report was "unprecedented," Matvienko called the publication of the document a "flagrant interference" in Moscow's domestic affairs.
Medvedev jokingly said that non-inclusion to the reports is a reason to quit the Russian government, stressing that almost everyone put into an administrative position by President Putin has been added to the report.