WHAT IT IS
- July, 2017: Congress approved new sanctions on Russia by passing the Russia Sanctions Review Act of 2017. This expanded prior sanctions imposed by President Obama.
- The sanctions target Russia’s energy, defense and intelligence sectors by making it more difficult for the country to export weapons and resources.
- The law states that, if the President wants to engage with Russia on any action related to the sanction, the President must report in detail to a congressional committee the nature of the action and a certification that Russia has ceased undermining the Ukraine and all cyber attacks on U.S. entities.
WHY IT MATTERS
This bill is significant for two reasons. First, it is a public declaration by both chambers of Congress to punish Russia for their interference with the democratic process in this country as well as Russia’s involvement in Ukraine. Second, it impacts relations between Russia and the United States significantly. The bill also actively punishes any companies who are involved with Russia.
WHERE WE ARE NOW
- President Trump officially signed the Russian sanctions bill on August 2, 2017, but called it “seriously flawed”.
- Russia retaliated prior to President Trump’s signing by ordering the United States to reduce its embassy staff in Russia by 755 people.
THINGS TO THINK ABOUT
- Read the Russia Sanctions Review Act here, including a summary of the sanctions.
- What impact will these sanctions have on Russian/U.S. relations going forward?