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Russian bank CEOs, metals magnates and gas chief named on U.S. "oligarchs' list"


Reuters MOSCOW
By Polina Devitt and Christian Lowe
MOSCOW (Reuters) - The U.S. Treasury Department on Tuesday named major Russian businessmen including the heads of the two biggest banks, metals magnates and the boss of the state gas monopoly on a list of oligarchs close to the Kremlin.
The list, drawn up as part of a sanctions package signed into law in August last year, does not mean those included will be subject to sanctions, but it casts a potential shadow of sanctions risk over a wide circle of wealthy Russians.
Russian President Vladimir Putin's inner circle is already subject to personal U.S. sanctions, imposed over Russia's 2014 annexation of Ukraine's' Crimea region.
But the so-called "oligarchs' list" that was released on Tuesday, prompted in part by Washington's belief the Kremlin meddled in the 2016 U.S. presidential election, covers many people beyond Putin's circle and reaches deep into Russia's business elite.
The Treasury Department, in a statement accompanying the list, said people had been included based on their net worth and "their closeness to the Russian regime."
It said inclusion does not denote that people on the list are subject to sanctions or any other restrictions, that they meet the criteria for being put under sanctions, or that they are involved in any malign activity.
Among the businessmen on the list are German Gref, CEO of state-controlled Sberbank, Russia's biggest lender, and Andrey Kostin, chief executive of the second-biggest lender, VTB, which is also controlled by the Russian state.
Alexei Miller, CEO of state-controlled gas export monopoly Gazprom, was on the list.
Oleg Deripaska, co-owner of Rusal, the world's second largest aluminium producer, Alexei Mordashov, co-owner of Severstal, one of Russia's largest steel producers, and Leonid Mikhelson, co-owner of private gas producer Novatek, were also included.
Metals magnate Alisher Usmanov, who is part owner of London's Arsenal soccer club, and Eugene Kaspersky, CEO of the Moscow-based cybersecurity company that carries his name, was included on the list of oligarchs.
(Reporting by Polina Devitt; Writing by Christian Lowe; editing by Polina Devitt)

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First Published: Jan 30 2018 | 12:02 PM IST

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