Washington proposes new financial sanctions against Russia

Washington proposes new financial sanctions against Russia

A new bill intended to impose additional sanctions with respect to Russia was published on the U.S. Congress website.

The Defending American Security from Kremlin Aggression Act (DASKAA) of 2019 was introduced by Senators Lindsey Graham, Cory Gardner, as well as Bob Menendez, Ben Cardin and Jeanne Shaheen on February 13. The reintroduced version of DASKA has some new provisions, Interfax reported.

The authors of the bill proposed to prohibit U.S. persons from engaging in transactions with Russian sovereign debt issued after the date that is 90 days after such date of enactment (by the Central Bank, the National Wealth Fund, or the Federal Treasury of the Russian Federation) with a maturity of more than 14 days.

According to the bill, the sanctions should be imposed with respect to any Russian financial institution that the President determines has provided "support for interference by the Government of the Russian Federation in the democratic process or elections of any country other than the Russian Federation."

The senators propose to impose sanctions on investment in Russian LNG projects outside of Russia, having a fair market value of $1,000,000 or more; or having an aggregate fair market value of $5,000,000 or more during a 12-month period.

According to the bill, the sanctions should be imposed on "political figures, oligarchs, and family members and other persons that facilitate illicit and corrupt activities, directly or indirectly, on behalf of Vladimir Putin."

In addition, sanctions on Russia’s shipbuilding sector were proposed.

The senior research fellow at the European Research Centre of the International Relations Institute of the Russian Academy of Sciences, Vladimir Olenchenko, speaking to Vestnik Kavkaza, noted in the first place that this is a draft bill, which will be adjusted.

"They put forward the maximum, because they understand that in order to achieve what they want, they will have to corrected some points," the expert said.

In his opinion, "many observers and experts agree that, probably, one of the draft law's goals is to influence the development of Russia's LNG industry"

He also drew attention to the fact that there is an attempt to continue interference in Ukrainian affairs. "They always try to present us as a party in Ukraine's turmoil and devastation. I think that the point on Ukraine is aimed at supporting Poroshenko’s candidacy in the upcoming elections," the expert believes.

Speaking about the possible consequences of these sanctions, he stressed that they should not be both underestimated and overestimated. "First, we already have some experience with sanctions. Second, in our actions we take into account what they can do. But the sanctions cannot be underestimated because they really bind us in many things. This factor should be further studied," the senior research fellow at the European Research Centre of the International Relations Institute of the Russian Academy of Sciences concluded.

The head of the department of stock markets and financial engineering of the Faculty of Finance and the Banking Business of RANEPA, former deputy chairman of the Central Bank of Russia Konstantin Korischenko, in turn, said that this is just a draft bill yet. "The last draft bill was not adopted, and this one also has every chance of not being adopted. And the added provisions, in principle are the same, except for the LNG restriction," the expert noted.

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