Russia imposes counter-sanctions regime
Russian President Vladimir Putin signed the law on countermeasures against unfriendly actions of the United States and other foreign countries. The document was posted on the official Internet portal of legal information.
According to the document, the government is empowered to introduce on the basis of the Russian president’s decision various countermeasures, provided they do not apply to vital goods not manufactured in Russia and other countries. Corresponding decisions may also be made by the President on the basis of proposals from the Security Council. The government will cancel the counter-measures if the circumstances serving as the reason to introduce them are eliminated.
The names of specific branches of the economy, goods and services were removed from the bill and the list of possible counter-measures was reduced. Companies from the United States and other unfriendly countries will be prohibited from participating in state purchase contracts and privatization of public assets.
The Cabinet of Ministers is empowered to terminate or suspend international cooperation with unfriendly countries and organizations under their control.
In addition, the Russian government can prohibit or restrict export-import operations with the United States and other unfriendly countries. The counter-measures against Russian sanctions do not apply to goods that Russian or foreign nationals may bring into the country for personal use.
The law was passed by the State Duma on May 22 and approved by the Federation Council on May 30.
First Deputy Chairman of the Federation Council Committee on Foreign Affairs, a representative of the legislative body of the Jewish Autonomous Region, Vladimir Dzhabarov, speaking to Vestnik Kavkaza, noted that Russia has no intention of starting to apply the new law now - it will depend on further unfriendly steps from other countries. "I think that we are not interested, like the Americans, to impose these sanctions or counter-sanctions, depending on the situation. At the moment, new sanctions against us are not being developed or introduced, the law may not be used.It is important to show our partners that we are ready to respond them any time," he said.
"The law determines the response measures in the event of another sanction attack against us. We do not intend to start a new round of confrontation and will only respond to those unfriendly steps taken against us. That is why the law allows the president and the government to impose sanctions depending on the specific situation, without the need to coordinate these measures. I will also note that such measures as medicines, products and goods that are not produced in Russia have been removed from the law. I think that in general it was the right step, and many countries will think first before acting aggressively," Vladimir Dzhabarov said.
The director of the Institute of Political Studies Sergei Markov, noted that the law on countermeasures demonstrates Russia's will to resist and its readiness to strike back if necessary. "The law outlines a certain range of these retaliatory blows. At the same time all the specifics were removed from it under the great pressure of the opposition media. I think that the main thing in the text of the law is the provision that following the anti-Russian sanctions in the territory of Russia should be punished," he said.
"It can affect quite a large number of individuals and legal entities, as well as international companies. Some foreign structures cooperate with Russia, but still they are fulfilling these sanctions to some extent - and they will be directly affected by the law signed by the president today. Those people who advise and help in the drafting of anti-Russian sanctions, those who call for the implementation of these sanctions, this part of the law will be also affected. This part of the law will be the most significant, while in the economic sphere the changes are not expected yet, because the government already has the possibility of introducing counter-sanctions, and it uses it when necessary," Sergei Markov said.