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Unclear how Americans will look Lavrov in the eye - political analyst

Dmitry Solonnikov

The American administration was very negligent while drafting the so-called Kremlin List, which included names of 210 high-ranking Russian officials, heads of state-run companies and representatives of big business, Director of the Institute for Modern State Development Dmitry Solonnikov commented to EADaily on the Kremlin Report of the US Treasury.

"I fail to see the logic of the authors of the Kremlin List; it's unclear why some officials are listed in it and others are not. Elvira Nabiullina (head of the Central Bank) is missing, and so is Ella Pamfilova (chair of the Central Election Commission), there is no mention of Anatoly Chubais (chairman of the board of Rosnano) and there are a number of other people who might be there, but for some reason they are not. And at the same time, there is, for example, Anna Kuznetsova (Commissioner for Children's Rights), Mikhail Fedotov (chairman of the Council for the Development of Civil Society and Human Rights), and Boris Titov (Ombudsman for Business Rights and a presidential candidate). Again, there are no representatives of big business on the list, but there are big oligarchs, who in reality are rather opposed to the Kremlin. Americans are very negligent in drawing up this list. For example, Boris Gryzlov, plenipotentiary representative of the president for negotiations on Ukraine, is also absent, but Vladislav Surkov (presidential aide) is there. If you include all those who are connected with the president, then why did you miss Gryzlov?" Solonnikov said.

According to him, it is unlikely that the Americans had the goal of compromising one of the Russian officials, not specifically mentioning his name on the list. "The US administration was most likely interested in the very fact of publishing a general list, they needed a PR-effect from this action, directed primarily to the interior of their country," Solonnikov explained. He did not rule out that further Americans will use the names on the list in order to put pressure on Russian business, on possible contracts, including in third countries.

The expert supposes that Americans were afraid to put President Vladimir Putin on the list. "Donald Trump’s administration is unlikely to have incriminated itself to such an extent; putting Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov on the list is already walking on the edge. It is completely incomprehensible now how they will negotiate with him and look him in the face," the political analyst said.

Speaking on whether publishing the list could influence the outcomes of the presidential election in Russia, Solonnikov agreed that the publication will create some reason to mobilize before the voting. "But this is not an "explosion on an even field." After all, we have quite a lot of such reasons, and "a whole ocean" rages around Russia. And this is just another wave that is rolling on our breakwater. I think that this will not affect Putin's ability to win or lose in the upcoming elections. 210 people who are on this list do not determine the position of the electorate in the country. For the majority of the population, residents of our villages, cities and even megacities all this is just a newsworthy event, which will be forgotten in two weeks," he said.

According to Solonnikov, in the North-West Federal District everyone understood perfectly that people who are seriously engaged in federal politics should have appeared on the Kremlin's list, including presidential envoy Alexander Beglov and St. Petersburg Governor Georgy Poltavchenko.

Recall that during a meeting with representatives of his election headquarters on January 30, Vladimir Putin joked that he was hurt for not being on the sanctions list. He also added that Russia wants to develop relations with the US and is not interested in their curtailment.

In turn, Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev also said with some irony that if one is a Russian official and did not get on the list then "it is a reason to quit."

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31.05.2018

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