04:57 GMT14 July 2020
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    The US Treasury has come up with an explanation of the way it compiled what was called the Kremlin Report - the sweeping list featuring top Russian officials, business and political figures that were said to be close to Russian President Vladimir Putin.

    The department has responded to the criticism of the Kremlin Report, which came out on Monday evening, with one Democrat in Congress even stating it was "copy-pasted" from Forbes magazine ratings of the wealthiest high-profile Russians.

    The American Democratic lawmakers lashed out at the report and the Treasury saying the document contained no specific part on a fresh round of sanctions aimed at Russia for its alleged meddling in the US 2016 vote.

    READ MORE: US Treasury Included Classified Annex in 'Kremlin Report' to Avoid Asset Flight

    Citing "widespread misreporting" of Treasury’s response, when Steven Mnuchin, the Treasury Head, promised that "sanctions will come out of this", Tony Sayegh, the department’s assistant secretary for public affairs stated that there were essentially two parts to the Kremlin Report.

    The unclassified section of it, released publicly on Monday, was from public sources, including websites, official documents  (there were also media reports on the names of the officials having been copied from the official Kremlin website), records and news stories, Sayegh said, while the final annex was submitted to Congress from classified sources by intelligence.

    "Treasury included a classified annex in the report in order to avoid potential asset flight from the named individuals and entities, as well as to prevent disclosure of sensitive information," he added.

    To calm down the frustration among the Democratic ranks, Sayegh hurried to underscore the main message:

    "Treasury has made it clear that we are focused on countering Russia’s destabilizing activities," he said.

    On January 29, the US Treasury Department released the so-dubbed Kremlin Report — a list of 210 persons related to the top leadership of Russia. The individuals included in the document are potential targets for Washington's anti-Russia sanctions. 


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