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US’ plans to sow discord between Russian authorities and business elite futile — expert

MOSCOW, February 9. /TASS/. The United States’ plans to sow discord between the Russian authorities and businesses by means of imposing sanctions have proved to be futile, President of the Russian Union of Industrialists and Entrepreneurs (RSPP) Alexander Shokhin said on Friday.

"A key idea of Republican Congressmen that all sorts of sanctions and blacklists would repel business elite from political elite and President Putin is proving to be futile," he said after a meeting of RSPP board members with Russian President Vladimir Putin. "Today’s contacts and meetings, meaningful dialogue of leaders of Russian business, including those whose names are in the so-called Kremlin Report, with President Putin hints that inverse effect is more possible, i.e. society may get consolidated around President Putin, with closer cooperation between political and business elites."

According to Shokhin, the reshaped RSPP board includes many businessmen whose names are on the US’ Kremlin List. "Two thirds of the Kremlin List," he noted.

The US Department of the Treasury has released an open version of the so-called Kremlin List that includes all members of the Russian government, along with Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev, chiefs of the presidential administration, heads of some state corporations and state banks, as well as businessmen who have, according to American sources, no less than $1 bln. The list in total includes 210 people. The specified list is not a sanctions list, according to the Department of Treasury, and no restrictions have been imposed automatically against those on the roster.