AP Photo/J. David Ake
WASHINGTON, January 30. /TASS/. The US administration held a classified staff briefing for the Congress on sanctions against Russia. This is according to a statement made by US Senator Ben Cardin, who is Ranking Member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee.
“The administration provided a classified staff briefing today on U.S. diplomatic efforts toward this end and I appreciate the administration’s engagement with Congress on this issue,” Carin said.
The Senator reminded that the so-called “Russia sanctions law” includes “a provision which mandates sanctions on those who conduct significant transactions with the Russian defense and intelligence sectors unless they can show substantial reductions in this trade.”
“I am not going to discuss the classified nature of these discussions but I am intently focused on these sanctions and will continue to conduct rigorous oversight to ensure that the Russian government’s ability to conduct this trade is significantly impeded,” Cardin said.
“The U.S. should be prepared to impose sanctions when the law is clearly violated. The administration should not rest in these efforts and I expect a frequent and regular dialogue on this issue,” the Senator concluded.
Earlier this month US Ambassador to Russia Jon Huntsman told TASS that Washington would unveil new sanctions against Moscow on January 29. When asked how many Russians will be affected by the new US sanctions, Huntsman said that “we’ll have to see how that plays out.”
Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov said earlier that the US administration was expected to present to the Congress two Russia-related reports, which concern the implementation of the CAATSA (the Countering America’s Adversaries Through Sanctions Act). According to Ryabkov, “it is another attempt to influence the domestic situation in Russia, particularly ahead of the presidential election.”
On January 26, the U.S. Department of Treasury announced an extended list of Russian individuals and companies subject to sanctions imposed on Moscow over the Ukraine crisis. The list includes individuals and companies, allegedly involved in supplies of the Siemens turbines to Crimea – Alexei Mordashov’s company Power Machines, which has been cooperating with Siemens in production of turbines, as well as the Technopromexport engineering company (part of the Rostec State Corporation), which is building two power plants in Crimea. Technopromexport’s Director General Sergei Topor-Gilka, Deputy Energy Minister Andrei Cherezov and Head of the Department of Operational Control and Management in Electric Power Industry at the Russian Energy Ministry Yevgeny Grabchak are among the blacklisted individuals.
The Countering America’s Adversaries Through Sanctions Act (CAATSA) was signed by US President Donald Trump in August 2017. The Act toughens sanctions on Russia, Iran and North Korea and warns US and foreign companies against making cooperation agreements or contracts with Russian defense companies and intelligence agencies.
Under Section 231 of that act, 180 days after the act comes into effect, on January 29, 2018, the US President shall impose five and more sanctions for significant transactions with the Russian defense or intelligence sector.