At the disposal of “Kommersant” was the full text of the “Act for the protection of American security from the aggression of the Kremlin in 2018”. The bill on new sanctions against Russia prepared by senators Lindsey Graham, Robert Menendez, Cory Gardner and Ben by Cardinal, is more than 100 pages.
The text begins in fact with appeals to the President of the United States Donald Trump. We require the following:
— support the efforts on counter-intervention “from the government of Russia or other foreign players in the activities of the U.S. government and in the democratic processes in the country”;
— “publicly to call upon the government of Russia to return Crimea under the control of the government of Ukraine, and also to call to abandon support for violence in Eastern Ukraine from separatists”. It is also about “the occupation and support for separatists” in the territories of Georgia and Moldova;
— to encourage Moscow to abandon support for Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, who, according to the authors of the draft law continues to “commit war crimes”.
In General, the bill requires the unification of all wodennig previously separate acts of anti-Russian sanctions — from “the Ukrainian” to “cyberterrorists” — into a single mechanism. For coordination, including with the EU, the US government proposes to introduce a special “sanctions coordination office”.
Recall now the “political” part of United States sanctions implemented by the us Department of state, financial and office OFAC of the U.S. Treasury.
In addition, it is proposed to create a “United national center for response to hybrid threats”. His task will be a struggle with the attempts of the “insidious influence of Russia in the world and in the United States.”
In the economic part of the project the most important requirement of a prohibition on operations in the United States (and the freezing of assets) of seven Russian banks. Including Sberbank, VTB, VEB and PSB. In practice, this will mean the inability of the dollar settlements through correspondent accounts in U.S. banks. By the way, this is the most afraid of the business community in Russia.
Also, the project proposes to introduce a de facto ban on operations with Russian government debt with a maturity of more than two weeks. But only with new releases (new debt) that significantly softens the negative consequences of this decision.
The document also contains a very strong review United States the question of recognition of Russia as a “state sponsoring terrorism”. According to experts, this formulation can be considered as a provisional application for campaign at the United Nations to exclude Russia from among the permanent members of the Security Council.
There is another version. It was under the guise of fighting “state-sponsor of terrorism” since 1983, the West has imposed strengthened sanctions against Iran. Yes, the current bill does not attempt to block Russian oil exports. But the idea hung on our country the label of “sponsor” makes you think that “Iran” scenario in relation to Moscow can also be implemented. For example, in the next round of tougher sanctions.
— American establishment has shown a willingness to continue to tighten the screws against Russia, — says the former Director of the information office of the Council of Europe, lecturer in European and constitutional law, MGIMO-University Nikolai Topornin. — While the fate of the new bill is not clear. But because he has the support, including the Democrats, probably, will be able to take before the November Congressional elections
The new sanctions — not just to increase the pressure on Russia. This attempt at political and economic isolation of our country. In any case, from the United States. This is evidenced by the symbiosis of measures, which includes a draft law.
So, along with the sanctions against Russian state-owned banks, there is a section on the membership of the US in NATO. From this it follows that trump can no longer threaten America’s withdrawal from the Alliance if allies will pay 2% towards defence.
Notice that the document gives the impression of a loose. In my opinion, until he gets to third reading, the text will be made a lot of amendments. But, unfortunately for us, in any case will remain an active anti-Russian orientation .
“SP”: — what are the main risks of new sanctions for Russia?
American investors, I believe, will now actively sell Russian debt securities. In the first place — OFZ. And, of course, would not buy new bonds.
Plus a severe blow will be inflicted on the financial system of Russia. This can lead to a new wave of ruble depreciation.
New sanctions will notice while do not affect our fuel-economic complex. In particular, they referred to the “Nord stream-2”. Apparently, the US does not want to aggravate relations with Europe, which has made it clear: this is our common project with Russia, we will understand ourselves.
But the main risk is that Russia de facto declared enemy of the United States. And it’s a very long time. In my opinion, the situation can be compared with the adoption in 1974 of the famous amendment of Jackson-Vanik. Or the imposition of economic sanctions against Cuba in 1960, which is still in effect.
In fact, we are talking about complex, long-running actions. And they are aimed at, in order to counteract the development of Russia.
“SP”: — the document envisages the establishment of a focal point for opposition to the Russian Federation. What does this mean for us?
— What are the different departments and circles of the United States will present a United front towards Russia. In this situation excludes, for example, unofficial arrangements of trump with the Kremlin.
Fundamentally, opposition by Moscow, officially will be the main feature of the new structure. For the state Department and the office of the OFAC of the U.S. Treasury such a confrontation, remember, was not a priority activity.
This hard mode against Russia, again, is introduced in the decades ahead. We, presumably, will be greatly disturbed. Including in foreign policy in the European direction.
“SP”: — But Europe itself is not happy with trump. And interested in maintaining economic ties with Russia, isn’t it?
— Trump, with all its contradictions, remains the leader of the Euro-Atlantic community. And we see that the Europeans did not want to quarrel with him. Even where their economic interests begin to suffer.
In addition, Donald trump can go from the White house, but an anti-Russian law will remain. And the new US President will be obliged to fulfill it. By the way, I strongly doubt that this law can be mitigated, to change after its adoption — this requires a completely different members of Congress.
And we need to understand the new bill clearly spelled out a number of practical measures. This means, the Executive power of the United States will not be able to report on the tightening of anti-Russian sanctions formally, for “show”.
Moreover, a feature of American law that the law is easy to accept the amendment exactly in the direction of tightening. So increase the economic pressure on Russia, in case of adoption of the draft law, the American parliamentarians will not be difficult.
“SP”: — What to do in such a situation Russia?
— To get used to that new sanctions we will have to live. And to adequately assess possible losses for the Russian economy in the near future. Because in combination with the current reforms of pension and tax — effect of the sanctions could be very negative.