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Cardin List is Just the Beginning

The ever-piercing Yulia Latynina writes in today’s Moscow Times on the bold move of the U.S. government in implementing its Cardin list – a list of Russian officials now subject to U.S. sanctions for their suspected involvement in the death of lawyer Sergei Magnitsky.  The list, which is the result of a proposal by Democrat Senator Benjamin Cardin and Republican Senator John McCain, has already ruffled a significant number of official Russian feathers.  But, according to both Latynina’s account and this report, it could become significantly more extensive, with plans in place to sanction officials implicated in other prominent human rights cases, including the deaths of Anna Politkovskaya and Natalya Estemirova.

The current sanctions are particularly painful to the Kremlin, says Latynina, because they hit the most vulnerable aspect of the Russian system – its corrupt wealth:

The Kremlin’s foreign policy is very simple. It is good for the ruling clan if oil prices rise and bad if their foreign assets are frozen. That is why Russia’s leadership will always extend aid to rogue states in order to increase international tensions and drive up the price of oil, but they will stop short of turning Russia into a rogue state itself.