On Monday, the State Department told the press that they will not be asking Congress to impose additional sanctions on Russia. The Administration is of the opinion that additional sanctions would be counterproductive to managing Russia on the world political stage.
The 2017 legislation, Countering America’s Adversaries Through Sanctions Act (CAATSA), is seen by the Administration an effective countermeasure, to deter Russian interference in America. And additional sanctions may result in backlash from Russia and actually encourage them to retaliate by meddling with American domestic affairs.
“Given the long timeframes generally associated with major defense deals, the results of this effort are only beginning to become apparent. From that perspective, if the law is working, sanctions on specific entities or individuals will not need to be imposed because the legislation is, in fact, serving as a deterrent,” the spokesperson continued.
According to CAATSA, President Trump has the right to postpone any imposed sanctions on either entities or people. This is only if the President determines that they are scaling back their transactions with Russia’s defense or intelligence sectors. It is only possible if he informs appropriate congressional committees at least 180 days before the decision.
Naturally, the Democrats have signaled that they oppose the plan, and do want harsher sanctions on Russia. They have also been working to win over Russia Hawks, and neoconservatives to their aggressive foreign policy position. Many of these Russia Hawks, within the Republican ranks, have been deeply concerned about Russian actions in Ukraine, Putin’s support of Assad in Syria, and the unfair elections in Russia.
President Trump released a statement at that time, “By limiting the executive’s flexibility, this bill makes it harder for the United States to strike good deals for the American people, and will drive China, Russia, and North Korea much closer together.”
On Monday, the State spokesperson stated that US authorities and State Department officials have publicly and privately swayed the threat of sanctions. This is against foreign governments and other entities both who are involved in dealings with listed Russian entities.
The spokeswoman of the State Department, Heather Nauert, stated:” Since the enactment of the CAATSA legislation, we estimate that foreign governments have abandoned planned or announced purchases of several billion dollars in Russian defense acquisitions.”
The legislation is aimed to deny Russia from leveraging the financial proceedings of intelligence and military equipment sales. The country will punish those who make such purchases.
“If sanctions are issued, they will primarily be on non-Russian entities that are responsible for significant transactions with Russia’s defense and intelligence sector,” the spokesperson continued.