Sometimes shit happens … you miss a deadline! 😉
The Trump administration, under fire from lawmakers for not punishing Moscow over election meddling, said Monday it will not implement Russia-related sanctions mandated by Congress last year because the threat itself is acting as a “deterrent.”
The decision was made public after nightfall on deadline day for implementing sanctions against those who do business with Russian defense and intelligence firms, as required under a 2017 law.
Since the law took effect six months ago, said State Department spokeswoman Heather Nauert, “We estimate that foreign governments have abandoned planned or announced purchases of several billion dollars in Russian defense acquisitions.”
The decision was less concrete than some lawmakers envisioned when the Countering America’s Adversaries Through Sanctions Act passed last summer. Though also mentioning Iran and North Korea, the law was billed as a U.S. response to Moscow’s interference in the 2016 presidential election.
More below the fold …
More details were provided to Congress in classified briefings, and some Democrats were angered. Rep. Eliot Engel (D-N.Y.), the top Democrat on the House Foreign Affairs Committee, said he was “fed up” with the administration’s failure to punish Russia over election interference.
- “The Trump administration had until Monday to issue the list under a law passed last year. After declining to answer questions about it throughout the day Monday, the Treasury Department released it with little fanfare 12 minutes before midnight.”
The US Treasury Department has released a list of prominent Russians with close ties to the Kremlin but has stressed it is “not a sanctions list.”
Released shortly before a midnight deadline, the list includes 114 senior foreign political figures with close ties to Russian President Vladimir Putin and 96 oligarchs, with a net worth of $1 billion or more.
The list includes senior members of the Russian Cabinet, ministers and other senior political leaders, including the leaders of the State Duma and Federation Council, the Treasury Department said in a statement.
It added the list was compiled “based on objective criteria drawn from publically available sources,” and those on it would not be subject to further restrictions.
Russia warned the release of the list could “jeopardize relations” and have “very, very serious consequences.”
“This is another step, which, obviously, leads to further escalation of tensions,” Aleksey Chepa, deputy chairman of the State Duma’s international affairs committee, told official news agency RIA Novosti.
“While it is too early to talk about this, but if the situation escalates further it can lead to this. The American leadership itself does not see the consequences of these actions, they jeopardize relations in the world between countries, and this can have very, very serious consequences.”