While the U.S. is calling on European leaders to step up sanctions against Russia for its aggression in Ukraine and the downing of Malaysia Airlines Flight 17, there is still plenty of room for the White House to tighten the screws.
The Muckety map above shows connections among Russian President Vladimir Putin, prominent business leaders and Russian companies. Those included on the U.S. sanctions list are marked with a red X. (For an interactive version, showing the nature of the relationships, click on the map, or go here.)
The map does not show all the sanctioned individuals and businesses. We selected companies for our map based on two criteria - ties to Putin and/or extensive European trade.
The map makes clear the interconnectedness of business and state in Russia. It also shows that some of the country’s largest companies haven’t yet been targeted.
While the Obama administration has zeroed in on defense companies such as Almaz-Antey, manufacturer of the missiles believed to have been used against the Malaysian airliner, it has kept a distance from the oil and gas sector.
Oil and gas is central to the Russian economy. But Russian energy imports are central to the European economy.
Gazprom, for example, notes on its web site, “Gazprom remains the key gas supplier to the European market and secures more than a quarter of the total consumption in Europe.”
Gazprombank, in which Gazprom holds an interest, was listed in the most recent sanctions. However, the company itself, and its top executives, have so far escaped U.S. prohibitions.