As expected, are on Wednesday announced new sanctions against Russia, which the US plans to impose in accordance with the law on chemical and biological weapons in response to the poisoning of former Russian agent and his daughter in the UK. It will be another round of confrontation, which some observers called a protracted war of attrition.
However, the Kremlin is concerned not so much with this package of sanctions, how much further measures, which take calls for a group of U.S. senators from both parties.
Sanctions imposed this week, including a ban on the export of technology to Russia, was condemned by the Russian authorities.
Meanwhile on Tuesday, the Finance Ministry announced sanctions against several Russian citizens and companies accused of breaking the restrictions on energy trade with North Korea, as well as on cooperation with the FSB.
The representative of the Ministry of Finance Sigal Mandelker on Tuesday told the Senate Committee on banks that the administration was prepared to toughen sanctions.
“Although malicious activity Russia continues, we believe that its adventurism, without a doubt, holding back the knowledge that we can hurt her a lot more economic damage, she said. We will not hesitate to do it, if the behavior of Russia will not happen visible and significant changes.”
Press Secretary of the Kremlin Dmitry Peskov, speaking this week to reporters, has called the sanctions a hostile and illegal, warning that they will have a negative impact on international trade. In this response he was threatened, saying only: “Let’s wait for what will happen if it will be.”
As the analyst of the Royal United services Institute for defence studies in London, Emily Ferris, the new sanctions will further complicate “an already difficult relations between the US and Russia”, but their effects are likely to be not too big, because America is the main trading partner for Russia, which more actively conducts business with the EU, did not support the next package of sanctions.
“Russia is likely to wait to see whether America is its promise to expand sanctions. Russia usually responds with mirror measures. She doesn’t want it came to a trade war”, – said the expert.
When in early April the US imposed against Russia sanctions in connection with “malicious activity” by Russian authorities worldwide, this has led to the fall of the ruble and the decline in the purchasing power of ordinary Russians travelling abroad or buying foreign goods.
The state Department announced sanctions, which should come into force this week, in August, accusing the Kremlin of violating international law. The US government came to the conclusion that the Russian government was behind the assassination of Sergey and Yulia Sripala who were hospitalized after poisoning with nerve substance.
In accordance with the law of 1991, the White house needs to impose sanctions against any country that is deemed responsible for a chemical or biological attack. The law also provides for a second round of more severe sanctions if Russia does not agree within 90 days to stop the use of chemical weapons and will not allow inspectors to confirm its destruction.
Among the additional measures that the administration may accept late – guarantees on loans to U.S. banks and international banks, a ban on the landing of Russian aircraft in the U.S. and even the suspension of diplomatic relations.
It possible second round of sanctions, along with the limitations that provides for a bipartisan bill aimed against the energy and financial sectors, as well as sovereign debt of the Russian Federation, is of greatest concern to Moscow, as these measures can cause greater damage to the Russian economy.
According to analysts, the greatest concern is the proposal to ban dollar transactions of the Russian state Bank. This measure provides for the bill, which was introduced by senators Lindsey Graham and Bob Menendez. It would force Russian banks to resort to the use of intermediaries in transactions with foreign currency. In the case of the bill, foreign investors will be more difficult to buy Russian government bonds, and Russia will have limited opportunities to obtain credit abroad.
Putin’s adviser on economy Andrei Belousov called for the requisition of the profit of Russian steel and chemical companies to Fund the government, which provoked disapproval from some government officials.
In response, the Russian government offered the following options: to impose restrictions on the export of titanium, which Boeing uses in the aircraft industry, to raise tariffs on the passage in Russian airspace for U.S. cargo and passenger aircraft, or to prevent them from flying over Russian territory, as well as to stop the supply of Russian rocket engines RD-180, which NASA and the Pentagon used to launch American satellites.