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Russia accuses U.S. of meddling in presidential election

Vladimir Putin with his hand on his face
Photo: Mikhail Svetlov / Getty Images

A forthcoming Treasury report on the close ties between Russian oligarchs and Russian President Vladimir Putin has been branded a "direct and obvious attempt to influence [March's Russian presidential] elections" by Putin's spokesman, per the BBC. The report was part of last year's package of sanctions against Russia, designed to "name and shame" members of Putin's inner circle in retaliation for Russia's interference in the 2016 election.

Why it matters: The report won't pose any political problems for Putin, who will win reelection handily in March, but it could create other structural issues for his regime. The report is expected to out the corrupt sources of income for some of his biggest — and richest — supporters and could, in turn, prompt additional economic sanctions from the U.S. against prominent Russian individuals.

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