Crimean Deputy Prime Minister Rustam Temirgaliyev threatened to take legal action after The Wall Street Journal published an advertisement mentioning his name in connection with the U.S. sanctions imposed against Russia, Izvestia reported Monday.
The advertisement in question reads: "Are you exposed to Russian sanctions? Are you working with a company owned by …" against the backdrop of the names of dozens of Russian officials hit with sanctions over Moscow's annexation of Crimea in March. The advertisement offers risk and compliance services.
"The fact that I am featured in such an advertisement is shocking, to put it mildly," Temirgaliyev said, Izvestia reported.
"There are surefire grounds for a lawsuit over this. I will be consulting my lawyers," Temirgaliyev added, noting that he had not ruled out the possibility of seeking financial compensation.
Joining him in this potential endeavor were two other officials who had found their own names in the advertisement, Russian senators Alexander Totoonov and Sergei Tsekov, who told Izvestia they were also considering legal options.
"The fact that my surname was published in this newspaper for advertising purposes without my consent is already in breach of the law, the liability for which will be decided by a court," Tsekov said in comments carried by Izvestia.
The U.S. and European Union have imposed sanctions on a number of high-ranking Russian officials and Russian companies over the Kremlin's actions in Ukraine. Some officials believed to have close ties to President Vladimir Putin have consequently been placed on blacklists, including Rosneft head Igor Sechin, Russian Railways head Vladimir Yakunin, the Kremlin's first deputy chief of staff Vyacheslav Volodin and businessman Gennady Timchenko.
Putin himself has mostly scoffed at the sanctions, referring to them as illegal at a news conference in April and saying there were no grounds for the sanctions to begin with.
Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov has also lambasted the Western response to events in Ukraine, calling the sanctions the "strategy of weak politicians" during a trip to Cuba in April, according to a transcript on the Foreign Ministry's website.