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U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin testifies to the Senate Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs Committee on "The Financial Stability Oversight Council Annual Report to Congress" on Capitol Hill in Washington, U.S., January 30, 2018. REUTERS/Joshua Roberts(reuters_tickers)
By Pete Schroeder
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The Trump administration will seek to impose sanctions in connection with a U.S. government report identifying Russian oligarchs who are close to the Kremlin, Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said on Tuesday
In testimony before the Senate Banking Committee, Mnuchin said while the administration has not levied sanctions under a new law designed to punish Moscow for alleged meddling in the 2016 U.S. election, it viewed the report as an initial step.
"This should in no way be interpreted as we're not putting sanctions on any of the people in that report," Mnuchin told lawmakers.
"There will be sanctions that come out of this report," he said, adding that it could happen as soon as next month.
Late on Monday, the Treasury Department named major Russian businessmen, including the heads of the country's two biggest banks, metals magnates and the boss of the state gas monopoly on a list of oligarchs close to the Kremlin.
Mnuchin said there was a classified component to the report, which was mandated by the law passed by Congress in July.
Democrats have criticized the Trump administration for failing to impose new sanctions on Russia. The State Department has said it was not yet seeking sanctions as the new law was already acting as a deterrent.
(Reporting by Pete Schroeder; Editing by Paul Simao)