Executive Intelligence Review


Trump Refuses To Impose ‘Mandated’ Sanctions on Russia

Jan. 31, 2018 (EIRNS)—In addition to complying with the letter of the disgusting "Countering America’s Adversaries Through Sanctions Act" (CAATSA) regarding its demand for a list of Russian officials and billionaires, while making abundantly clear there was nothing wrong with those on the list, President Donald Trump also simply refused to follow another part of the CAATSA law, Sections 231-235, which required that the President "shall" impose certain sanction within 180 days of the passage of the bill (which Trump openly opposed but signed rather than seeing his veto overridden by the Congress).

These mandatory sanctions are the "secondary" sanctions—against persons doing business with the Russian defense sector, contributing to Russian pipeline construction, or aiding "corrupt" privatization deals. Despite the mandate, the administration announced that the sanctions were "not necessary," arguing that some deals with the Russian defense sector had already been cancelled due to the threat of sanctions (this could refer to Russia’s Alfa Bank, which announced Jan. 3 that the sanctions would make it impossible to continue doing business with the defense sector).

Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin, however, told the Congress Jan. 30 that the report should not be interpreted as meaning that the United States would not impose sanctions in the future.

As for the "list" of officials and billionaires, the report goes out of its way to be clear it was not a sanctions list:

"This report has been prepared and provided exclusively in response to Section 241 of CAATSA. It is not a sanctions list, and the inclusion of individuals or entities in this report, its appendices, or its annex does not and in no way should be interpreted to impose sanctions on those individuals or entities. Inclusion in this report also does not constitute the determination by any agency that any of those individuals or entities meet the criteria for designation under any sanctions program. Moreover, the inclusion of individuals or entities in this report, its appendices, or its classified annexes does not, in and of itself, imply, give rise to, or create any other restrictions, prohibitions, or limitations on dealings with such persons by either U.S. or foreign persons. Neither does inclusion on the unclassified list indicate that the U.S. Government has information about the individuals’ involvement in malign activities."