U.S. Issues the Much-Anticipated Kremlin Report” under New Russia Sanctions Law

As required under Section 241 of the Countering America’s Adversaries Through Sanctions Act (CAATSA), last night the U.S. government released a public, unclassified version of the much-anticipated “Kremlin Report.” The report was intended to ‘name and shame’ Russian political and business leaders, list their assets outside of Russia, provide an index of corruption with respect to the listed individuals, determine estimated net worth of the listed parties, and analyze the impact of imposing sanctions on listed parties.

Despite fears among many in the Russian elite, the public version of list is relatively uncontroversial, listing known senior members of the Russian government and oligarchs worth $1 billion or more. (The list of Russian oligarchs appears to have been taken from a Forbes list of wealthy Russians and reordered alphabetically.) The more sensitive aspects of the report, including an accounting of oligarch’s assets outside of Russia and the index of corruption were excluded from the public version of the list.

There were also concerns before the release of the report that parties would confuse the list of government officials and oligarchs as a sanctions list, leading banks and U.S. parties to suspend or terminate business with listed individuals’ legitimate businesses in and outside of Russia. The public version of the report contained a clear reminder that the so-called Kremlin Report is not a sanctions list and does not block or otherwise impede U.S. persons from conducting transactions with the listed individuals or their businesses:

This report has been prepared and provided exclusively in response to Section 241 of CAATSA. It is not a sanctions list, and the inclusion of individuals or entities in this report, its appendices, or its annex does not and in no way should be interpreted to impose sanctions on those individuals or entities. Inclusion in this report also does not constitute the determination by any agency that any of those individuals or entities meet the criteria for designation under any sanctions program. Moreover, the inclusion of individuals or entities in this report, its appendices, or its classified annexes does not, in and of itself, imply, give rise to, or create any other restrictions, prohibitions, or limitations on dealings with such persons by either U.S. or foreign persons. Neither does inclusion on the unclassified list indicate that the U.S. Government has information about the individual's involvement in malign activities.

OFAC also issued a new FAQ reiterating this point.