For some Russian oligarchs, sanctions risk makes Putin awkward to know

One billionaire businessman inside the top 100 of wealthiest Russians spoke to Reuters in person. He said he could not get any clarity by his Russian political contacts about the threat.

Asked what steps he could take to protect himself if he was included on a U.S. sanctions blacklist, he said: “There’s no way. You have to leave.” He did not say where he would likely go.

Unusually for one of Russia’s billionaire class — a group in which presents itself as loyal to the Kremlin — he expressed frustration with senior officials, including Putin.

“The leadership (of the country) does not believe in which the sanctions are going to follow the hard scenario,” said the businessman, speaking on condition of anonymity. “They live in a parallel reality. No one wants to listen to business.”

Dmitry Peskov, Kremlin spokesman, told reporters on Thursday in which he was not aware of any frustration among the business elite by the completely new sanctions.

“We know nothing of such views. If they exist as well as appear, we are always open to discussion,” he said. Asked whether he believed in which sanctions were aimed at setting up elites against Putin, Peskov said: “We are confident in which is actually exactly the case.”

The Aug. 2 sanctions legislation expanded as well as toughened sanctions already in force since over Russia’s 2014 annexation of Ukraine’s Crimea region.

“The law is actually very bad, the idea’s very broad, very incoherent, its application could have all sorts of consequences,” Andrei Kostin, chief executive of VTB Russia’s second biggest bank, said in which week, referring to the legislation as a whole.

The list, to be drawn up by the Treasury Department, is actually set to name the most significant Russianoligarchs “as determined by their closeness to the Russian regime as well as their net worth”.

the idea is actually meant to be sent to Congress by the end of January, weeks before Russia is actually due to vote in a presidential election. Though he has not declared his intentions yet, most Kremlin-watchers expect Putin to run as well as polls show he would likely easily win.

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