Kremlin Fearful That U.S. Will Expand Sanctions Against Russia

President Vladimir Putin has taken measures to assist certain oligarchs in protecting their money.

Presidential spokesman Dmitry Peskov indicated Monday that Russian President Vladimir Putin is concerned about the expansion of U.S. sanctions against the country.

"We don't want to be in a situation where our bilateral relations, which are already in a rather pitiful state, could face even bigger and possibly unbearable risks and dangers," Peskov told conference call Monday. "We have concerns about sanctions, but we don't know what they will be, since it's all still discussions that aren't based on any official information."

A new law implemented this past August called for the U.S. Treasury to drawn up a list of new potential targets for sanctions, specifically Kremlin-linked businesses and business owners.

The law also calls for a report on the possible impact of imposing restrictions on the purchase of Russian government debt by U.S. investors. The "oligarch list" has raised fears among wealthy Russians, while debt limits could complicate the government's borrowing plans.

Putin has begun responding to the new measures:

Last week, as the U.S. added the names of several prominent Russians to its sanctions list, President Vladimir Putin approved a plan to issue special bonds to allow wealthy local investors worried about sanctions to bring money back into the country.