U.S., Russia Finance Chiefs Meet in Washington to Discuss Sanctions

U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin and Russian Finance Minister Anton Siluanov met on Friday to discuss anti-Russian sanctions, the Russian ministry’s press service said.

“On April 20, Russian Finance Minister Anton Siluanov met with U.S. Secretary of the Treasury Steven Mnuchin on the sidelines of this year’s Spring Meetings of the International Monetary Fund and World Bank Group in Washington. During the meeting, the issue of sanctions was discussed,” the Russian ministry said in a statement, according to TASS.

According to an earlier statement from the U.S. Treasury, the meeting was held at the Russian side’s request. “The Secretary and Minister discussed issues involving North Korea, Syria, and Ukraine,” the statement said, without providing any further details.

Earlier, Siluanov said Russian authorities are using “all their potential to minimize the consequences of the new U.S. sanctions.” According to him, changes in the rules of operations in the foreign exchange market, which are related to budget rules, are not planned.

“These operations are exclusively aimed at minimizing oil dependence,” he added.

The Kremlin noted on Friday that “hasty decisions on the issue of retaliatory measures on new sanctions would have been wrong.”

On April 6, the U.S. authorities imposed sanctions against a number of Russian officials, businessmen and companies. The list includes Gazprom CEO Alexei Miller, VTB CEO Andrei Kostin, Renova owner Viktor Vekselberg, General Director of Surgutneftegaz Vladimir Bogdanov, Sibur board member Kirill Shamalov, businessmen Igor Rotenberg, Oleg Deripaska and Suleiman Kerimov.

Sanctions were also slapped on Russia’s Agro-Holding Kuban, EuroSibEnergo, Rusal, Russian Machines, GAZ Group, B-Finance, Basic Element, En+, Renova, Ladoga Management, Russian Financial Corporation, NPV Engineering and Gazprom Bureniye.