US extends sanctions against Russia for another year

 US extends sanctions against Russia for another year

US President Barack Obama has prolonged sanctions against the Russian Federation for another year.

According to the document, the actions of Russia in Ukraine threaten the national security and foreign policy of the United States.

In late February, the US government has urged some of the nation’s largest banks to refrain from helping Russia sell bonds, as it would undermine sanctions imposed against Russia, Interfax notes. 

The executive orders were issued on March 16 and 20, 2014 and on December 19, 2014 on Crimea.

The chairman of the Federation Council’s Foreign Affairs Committee, Konstantin Kosachev, commented on the extension of US sanctions against Russia, calling it a "hail from Washington" addressed to Europeans.

He recalled that "the Wall Street Journal wrote yesterday that the number of EU countries wishing to lift the anti-Russian sanctions has increased and the July decision on their further extension may be in doubt," Kosachev noted.

"This is a clear recognition that the 'Maidan' project is a part of Washington's foreign policy's interests," the senator concluded.

The First Deputy Chairman of the Federation Council Committee on Defense and Security, Franz Klintsevich, in his turn, said that by extending the sanctions against Russia the United States has made it clear that strategic cooperation with Russia is impossible.

"This conclusion indisputably follows from the US President Barack Obama’s executive order to extend the anti-Russian sanctions for another year. They have made it clear to us that any strategic cooperation between the two countries is out of the question," he stressed.

In this regard, he said that "the agreement between Russia and the US on Syria conveys nothing." According to Klintsevich, the Americans "are traditionally doing only what is profitable for them and if the situation changes they may well backtrack".

"This, of course, does not mean that we cannot interact with them to address some specific issues, but at the same time we must be prepared for all eventualities," the First Deputy Chairman of the Federation Council Committee on Defense and Security pointed out.

The Associate Professor of the stock markets and financial engineering department of the Faculty of Finance and Banking of RANEPA, Sergey Hestanov, in an interview to Vestnik Kavkaza said that since sanctions have been imposed for a long time, almost all Russian financial and lending institutions have developed certain ways of how to attract funds under the sanctions.

"Therefore, most of the problems have been resolved, though the cost of raising resources under sanctions is, of course, somewhat higher," the expert said.

"The fact is that the recession, which is observed in Russia now, is due to low hydrocarbon prices, so the role of sanctions in the economic downturn is quite secondary," Hestanov noted.

"In general, the need for financial resources is maximal when the economy is growing. That is, there is no urgent need to attract funds during the economic recession. That's why today the damage from the sanctions is not too big. It's just because for many people it is psychologically associated with the fact that the decline is caused by sanctions. In fact, it's not true. More than 90% of decline in the Russian economy is due to falling prices for major Russian exports," Sergey Hestanov concluded.

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