The Trump administration is not implementing the sanctions passed almost unanimously by Congress in July, and the leaders of the Senate Armed Services committee are not happy about it.
The bill, passed in the wake of proven Russian meddling in our election last year, was signed under strong opposition from the President. Sens John McCain and Ben Cardin sent a letter to the President 12 days after the deadline, urging him to follow through on identifying which entities were going to be sanctioned. That was 13 days ago. The president is now four weeks overdue on this providing this list, and is not responding to requests for an explanation of the delay.
The sanctions go much further than the ones ordered last December in response to initial awareness of Russia’s meddling, primarily because of the detail of that meddling that became public during GOP-led investigations into the election.
The bill outlined for sanction entities that:
- undermine US cybersecurity on behalf of the Russia government
- invest certain amounts in Russia’s energy export pipelines
- conduct “significant” transactions with Russian defense and intelligence agencies (though this will come into effect six months from now)
- commit, or assist in, serious human rights abuses
- commit acts of “significant” corruption
- provide support to the Syrian government to acquire arms
- invest, or facilitate the investment of, $10 million or more in the Russian government’s privatization of any state-owned asset in a one-year period that could unfairly benefit government officials or their associates.
The sanctions went further to detail a dozen types of sanctions which should be imposed upon such entities, once identified, including the revoking US visas, restricting exports and freezing money or property.