(Bloomberg) — U.S. officials are avoiding contact with their Russian counterparts at the World Economic Forum amid tensions over sanctions, Deputy Prime Minister Arkady Dvorkovich said.
“Americans are hiding from us in Davos,” Dvorkovich said at a panel discussion at the forum in the Swiss resort on Wednesday. “It’s a small village, but they don’t want to talk.”
Dvorkovich said he’s ready for contacts with members of the U.S. delegation. “It’s not Russia hiding from dialogue,” he said.
U.S. President Donald Trump is due in Davos on Thursday amid rising concern among Russia’s elite at the potential impact of a Treasury Department list of “oligarchs” deemed close to Kremlin leader Vladimir Putin. The deadline for sending the list to Congress is Jan. 29.
The report, mandated by a law intended to punish the Kremlin for alleged meddling in the 2016 U.S. presidential election, is expected to amount to a blacklist of wealthy Russians with political ties. U.S. lawmakers expect it to provide a basis for future punitive actions against Russia, which is already under sanctions over the 2014 annexation of Crimea from Ukraine.
“Sanctions aren’t the most important thing in the world,” said Dvorkovich. “It’s a minor issue that we should not spend too much time discussing. We should work more and more efficiently.”