There are 946 names of Russian citizens and Ukrainians who have ceased to be citizens, as well as of the entities they manage, who are today on the list of those punished by the European Union with a freezing of assets,

They increase the affiliations that four edicts of the European Council have been adding since, in March 2014, the governments of the Union decided not to leave unpunished the annexation of Crimea by Russia, that “special military operation” of Vladimir Putin that prolonged the current invasion of Ukraine.

But of that list, only a portion are Russian “oligarchs”. Ninety-six identify another list, that of those sanctioned by the U.S. Treasury Department as of 2018.

Not all the names pointed out by the United States appear among those penalized on this side of the Atlantic. This is the case of the oilman Vagit Alekperov, president of Lukoil, or the aluminum magnate Oleg Deripaska, owner of the electricity company EN+, singled out on the American shore, but not (yet) in the Union.

The European list includes the 450 members of the Russian Duma (parliament). The original American list gathers fewer people, 327: the 96 oligarchs, 114 politicians, 74 ministers and regional councilors and 43 Kremlin officials; and not only related to the aggression against Ukraine: also to the promotion of the war in Syria.

Whether they are on one or the other list, they all have one thing in common: they are accused by the West of having promoted or supported the war in Ukraine and of supporting Vladimir Putin’s regime.

The inclusion of the Russian president is, by the way, as recent as that of the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Sergei Lavrov, and those of the military chiefs Valeri Gerasimov (General Staff) and Sergei Shoigu (Minister of Defense): from February 28 in these cases. Their names appear in the two large files from which, perhaps one day, an international court will draw affiliations.

The American one, drawn up with data from the State Department’s foreign and financial intelligence, originated in the Section 241 Report raised to the Secretary of the Treasury with the “America’s adversaries” in January 2018, and currently enters the one that American bureaucrats call SDN List. It stands for Sepecially Designed Nationals. The European list is stored in a long computer file: the FSD (Financial Sanctions Database).

Eleven days of hybrid warfare in Crimea, between March 6 and 17, 2014, finally decided the EU to create the file. The holding of a sort of Russian-driven referendum on self-determination between Crimean pro-Russians and newly conquered Ukrainians spurred the EU: “The Heads of State or Government considered the decision of the Supreme Council of the Autonomous Republic of Crimea to hold a referendum on the future status of the territory to be contrary to the Constitution of Ukraine and therefore illegal,” says the preamble to the sanctions.

The oligarchs and their companies.

The former are considered as such if their fortune exceeds 1 billion dollars. The latter, if they are owned or dominated by the Kremlin, it calls “parastatal entities.”

“Russian parastatals – says a Treasury report raised to the US Congress in 2018 to inform the S241 Report – have origins in the command economy of the Soviet Union.” Industrial giants that were privatized have been partially renationalized by purchase, decree or public-private partnership pacts. Today they account for “a third of all jobs in Russia and 70% of its gross domestic product.”


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