09:32 GMT +313 December 2019
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    Russian Prime Minister and Chairman of the United Russia party Dmitry Medvedev and his wife Svetlana cast their ballots at a polling station during a parliamentary election in Moscow, Russia, September 18, 2016

    Ex-EU Consultant: 'Kremlin Report' Likely Designed to Influence Russian Election

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    WASHINGTON (Sputnik) - The list of more than 200 prominent Russians threatened with US sanctions this week appears to be a deliberate effort by Washington to interfere in Russia’s upcoming presidential election, former European Union consultant Paolo von Schirach told Sputnik.

    On Tuesday, the US Department of the Treasury published a list of 114 Russian politicians, including the entire Russian presidential administration and members of the government, and 96 business people who all might face US official sanctions.

    "If sanctions are not at issue here, then the motive behind the US government decision to compile and then publish this list seems to be political," Schirach, president of the Global Policy Institute, said on Wednesday. "Some say it is an overt American attempt to influence the outcome of the upcoming political elections in Russia."

    The list seems to portray Russian President Vladimir Putin as the head of an informal coalition of oligarchs whose main shared goal is to preserve positions of power and influence in Russia backed by their vast financial and economic fortunes, he added.

    The Kremlin Report, Schirach said, represents yet another chapter in a very complicated US-Russia relations story.

    Efforts to repair the current poor and complicated state of US-Russian relations could not be realistically attempted until the current wave of US probes of alleged Russian connections with President Donald Trump are completed, Schirach cautioned.

    Russian Finance Minister Anton Siluanov in an interview with RT on Wednesday said that Russian officials would not be affected by Washington's so-called "Kremlin report" because they have no foreign bank accounts and real estate abroad.

    Russian President Vladimir Putin characterized the report as an "unfriendly move" by the United States that harmed relations between Moscow and Washington. Putin added that Moscow was not interested in scaling back relations with Washington and would refrain from retaliatory steps.

    The views and opinions expressed in the article do not necessarily reflect those of Sputnik.


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    meddling, election, influence, sanctions, Kremlin report, US Department of the Treasury, Paolo von Schirach, Russia, United States
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