WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW:
- The U.S. administration released a list of Russian oligarchs and implemented a Congressional law created to penalize Russia for influencing the 2016 presidential election.
- The list was composed of senior members of the Kremlin political administration and Russian billionaire oligarchs.
- President Donald Trump’s administration, however, decided not to impose any sanctions on anyone on the list.
The State Department did not impose any sanctions under the law designed to punish Russia for allegedly meddling in the last U.S. presidential election. On Monday, it said that a 2017 U.S. law was deterring billions of dollars in Russian defense sales.
“Today, we have informed Congress that this legislation and its implementation are deterring Russian defense sales. Since the enactment of the … legislation, we estimate that foreign governments have abandoned planned or announced purchases of several billion dollars in Russian defense acquisitions,” U.S. State Department spokeswoman Heather Nauert said.
The White House signaled it was not imposing new sanctions under a bill President Trump hesitantly signed into law in August 2016. The Countering America’s Adversaries Through Sanctions Act (CAASTA) required the administration to publish the list.
There has been a clamor from the Members of Congress, both Democrats and Republicans, for the administration to impose sanctions to punish Moscow for interfering in the past presidential poll and to prevent them from future meddling in U.S. elections.
“Given the long timeframes generally associated with major defense deals, the results of this effort are only beginning to become apparent. From that perspective, if the law is working, sanctions on specific entities or individuals will not need to be imposed because the legislation is, in fact, serving as a deterrent,” Nauert added.
The administration was given a Jan. 29 deadline by Congress to publish key reports under CAASTA.
Further details were contained in a classified report submitted to Congress, The State Department said.