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In an attempt to deflect and marginalize the recently-announced American sanctions against oligarchs connected to the patronage of Russian President Vladimir Putin, the Kremlin denied this week there are any ‘oligarchs’ in the country.
“There are no oligarchs in Russia,” Kremlin Spokesman Dmitry Peskov told reporters on Thursday, reported Russian state news agency TASS.
“I think the phrase “Russian oligarchs” is inappropriate.” Instead, Peskov used the term “representatives of big business.”
“I do not know about any information coming from representatives of large Russian businesses on this matter,” he replied when asked about U.S. Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s probe which is reported to be questioning and looking into the finances of Russian business tycoons.
Several oligarchs have had their possessions searched when entering the United States recently. The Trump administration also announced a further round of sanctions targeting Russians close to Vladimir Putin as a response to Russian meddling in the 2016 election.