History of the imposition of US sanctions against the Russian Federation and sanctions restrictions imposed by Russia against the United States
The United States has repeatedly introduced various restrictions on the RSFSR and the USSR. The first packages of economic sanctions were introduced back in 1917. In 1930, the United States introduced another anti-dumping package of sanctions against the USSR, the next package of measures was adopted in March 1933. The last pre-war package of sanctions was introduced at the suggestion of the United States as a response to the Soviet-Finnish war. The Americans called it a “moral embargo.” The Cold War, which began in 1946, began to spin the flywheel of new economic restrictions against the Soviet Union. In March 1948, the US Department of Commerce restricted the export of strategic materials, equipment and weapons to the USSR and the socialist countries of Eastern Europe. In 1949, these restrictions were enshrined in the Export Control Act. In 1951, the United States passed the Mutual Defense Assistance and Control Act, which repealed the cooperation provisions of the Second World War. In 1974, the Jackson-Vanik amendment to the US trade law was passed, abolishing most favored nation treatment in trade, as well as the possibility of providing loans and credit guarantees for countries that restrict the right of their citizens to emigrate. In addition, the amendment provided for the application of discriminatory tariffs on goods imported by the United States from countries with non-market economies. The United States officially recognized Russia as a market economy in 2002, but the amendment only ended in 2012.
A new round of confrontation occurred in the last decade of the existence of the USSR. In response to the introduction of Soviet troops into Afghanistan, the United States imposed a “grain embargo” against the USSR, but in 1981 it was canceled. On December 29, 1981, a ban was introduced on the supply of electronic and oil and gas equipment by American companies to the USSR. At the same time, in 1981, sanctions were imposed against Aeroflot, which was able to resume flights to the United States only five years later – in 1986. After the collapse of the USSR, the West has repeatedly threatened the Russian Federation with various sanctions. The events of 2014 in Ukraine became a catalyst for “decisive” actions by the West and the United States to voice and impose economic sanctions against Russia.
As of January 2021, the number of Russians and companies included in the US sanctions list was 742 (Russia is second only to the sanctions list against Iran, which includes 1,815 individuals and companies). The largest package of anti-Russian sanctions is associated with the events in Ukraine in 2014.
Sanctions related to nonproliferation laws
Since the early 1990s, the United States has been imposing sanctions on Russian companies for alleged violations of US laws on the non-proliferation of weapons of mass destruction against Iran, North Korea and Syria. The sanctions list is regularly updated.
For example, under the law on the non-proliferation of weapons of mass destruction concerning Syria, Iran and the DPRK, on March 21, 2017, the United States imposed sanctions against eight Russian companies. The list of sanctions included Rosoboronexport, the Aviaexport association, the Design Bureau of Mechanical Engineering and Basalt, the Ulyanovsk Institute of Civil Aviation named after Chief Marshal Bugaev, the Ural Civil Aviation Training Center, the Zhukovsky and Gagarin Air Force Academy, 150- nd Aircraft repair plant.
On September 26, 2019, the United States imposed sanctions against one Russian company, three Russian citizens and five ships, believing that they violated the sanctions regime in Syria by creating a scheme to deliver aviation fuel to the country. In particular, the Russian company Maritime Assistance LLC was included in the sanctions list, which, in the opinion of the US Treasury, is connected with the Sovfrakht company, which was previously under sanctions in connection with Ukraine, the ships OT-2077, Passat , “Whitefish”, “Pike perch” and “Ide” belonging to “Transpetrochart”.
“The Magnitsky Act”
On December 14, 2012, the so-called “Magnitsky Act” came into force in the United States. He imposes sanctions on Russians who, according to Washington, are complicit in human rights abuses. They are banned from entering the United States and their bank accounts may be frozen. The powers to identify persons subject to visa and financial sanctions, which are provided for by the so-called “Magnitsky Act”, have been transferred to the US Treasury Secretary and Secretary of State.
In response to the actions of the United States, Russian President Vladimir Putin signed the “Dima Yakovlev law”, which prohibits the adoption of children by foreigners; it came into force on January 1, 2013.
On April 12, 2013, the US Treasury released a list of 18 representatives of the law enforcement agencies and the Russian judicial system who are barred from entering the United States and their US assets will be frozen. A few more people were included in the closed part of the list – they will only be affected by visa sanctions. On April 13, the Russian Foreign Ministry published a response “list of Guantanamo” – also of 18 names, which includes the names of those involved, according to the Russian Federation, in the legalization and use of torture in a special prison in Guantanamo, as well as those involved in violations of the rights and freedoms of Russian citizens abroad.
In May 2014, the United States expanded the Magnitsky list and imposed sanctions on 12 more Russians who were deemed guilty of human rights violations.
In July 2014, in response to Washington's expansion of the sanctions list, Russia barred 12 US citizens from entering the country. Persons who, in Moscow, were deemed to have been implicated in “the legalization and use of torture of prisoners in the Guantanamo special prison.” They also included “American servicemen who mocked prisoners in the Abu Ghraib special prison in Iraq or covered up the crimes committed. …
The US authorities have repeatedly supplemented the Magnitsky list: at the end of December 2014, February 1, 2016, January 9, December 20 and 21, 2017, June 15, 2018, October 12 and December 10, 2020.
On December 21, 2016, the Magnitsky Global Human Rights Act was adopted, which provides for the possibility of imposing sanctions on citizens of any foreign country who, according to Washington, are seen in corruption and human rights violations. For the first time, sanctions based on this law were introduced on December 21, 2017. The law was last amended on March 25, 2021.
Sanctions in connection with the events in Ukraine
Relations between the Russian Federation and Western countries deteriorated in 2014 due to the situation in Ukraine and around Crimea. The West, having accused Russia of meddling, imposed sanctions on it.
On March 6, 2014, US President Barack Obama signed Decree 13660 “On blocking the property of certain persons contributing to the situation in Ukraine.”
Since that date, the American President, acting on the basis of the Law on Economic Powers in the Event of International Emergencies, has empowered the US administration to impose property and visa sanctions against individuals and legal entities who “appropriated powers in the Crimean region without the permission of the Ukrainian government.”
On March 17, 2014, the United States, disagreeing with Russia's actions during the Ukrainian crisis, imposed sanctions on high-ranking Russian politicians. After the referendum in Crimea, following the results of which the peninsula became part of Russia, the United States expanded the sanctions list.
In July 2014, the United States switched from targeted sanctions against individual individuals and companies to measures against entire sectors of the economy, and separate sanctions were imposed on Crimea.
Subsequently, the sanctions were regularly extended, their list was constantly expanding. On March 6, 2021, US President Joe Biden extended for another year the US sanctions regime against the Russian Federation, introduced in 2014 in connection with the events in Ukraine and Crimea.
The events in Ukraine are associated with the largest package of US anti-Russian sanctions. In addition to Russian politicians and officials, a number of large Russian businessmen and companies controlled by them were included in the sanctions lists; restrictive measures also affected the financial, energy and defense sectors of the Russian economy. The European Union joined the US sanctions policy, and then a number of other countries.
In response to the sanctions pressure from Western countries, Russia announced on August 6, 2014 that it would restrict food imports against the EU, the United States, Australia, Norway and Canada. In 2015, the list of countries subject to Russian counter-sanctions was expanded. The decree on the food embargo against the West is renewed annually. Currently – until December 31, 2021.
Another package of sanctions related to Ukraine was introduced by the United States on November 15, 2019. It concerns the incident in the Kerch Strait in November 2018 and the arrest of Ukrainian sailors. The US Treasury Department has sanctioned six people and eight companies in response to “continuing Russian aggression in Ukraine.” The restrictions are directed against “individuals and legal entities involved in an unjustified attack” by the Russian FSB border service on Ukrainian naval ships in the Black Sea near the Kerch Strait, the Ministry of Finance explained. Several individuals and companies have been sanctioned for their links to the “annexation of Crimea” and “support for the illegal elections of a separatist government in eastern Ukraine.” The US sanctions were supported by Canada and the EU. In 2019, the detained sailors returned to Ukraine, the detained ships were also returned, but the restrictive measures remained in force.
Cyber and electoral interference allegations sanctions
On December 30, 2016, the US authorities announced the imposition of sanctions against a number of Russian citizens and companies, accusing them of organizing and carrying out cyberattacks on American political institutions. Sanctions were imposed on five Russian departments and organizations, including the Federal Security Service (FSB) and the Main Intelligence Directorate (GRU) of the General Staff of the Russian Armed Forces, the Professional Association for the Creation and Processing of Data, the Special Technological Center, and the data protection company. COR Security “.
In addition, Washington expelled 35 Russian diplomats from the country on charges of intelligence activities and closed two Russian diplomatic institutions in the United States on the same grounds. Washington also accused Moscow of harassing American diplomats and organizations working in Russia. Subsequently, the sanctions list was expanded.
On April 15, 2021, the United States introduced new sanctions against the Russian Federation, which include 32 individuals and associations, including against six technology companies in the Russian Federation, which, according to the US administration, “support the cyber program of the Russian special services.” The list included the military technopolis “Era”. In addition, new sanctions prohibit US financial institutions from buying Russian government bonds on IPOs after June 14. Washington also announced that it will expel 10 diplomatic personnel. US President Joe Biden told Congress that his decree on sanctions against individuals and legal entities in Russia was caused by an alleged “extraordinary threat” to US national security emanating from Moscow.
Sanctions under the Countering America's Adversaries Through Sanctions Act
On August 2, 2017, US President Donald Trump signed the Law on Countering America's Adversaries Through Sanctions, which consolidated restrictive measures against Russia, Iran and the DPRK. The bill expanded a number of sectoral sanctions against the Russian economy. He also imposed restrictions on Russian energy projects, including in Europe.
On October 27, the US State Department circulated a list of Russian companies, cooperation with which may become the basis for secondary sanctions. It includes such organizations as the FSB, SVR, GRU, as well as 33 enterprises and concerns, including Rosoboronexport, Izhmash, Kalashnikov, Uralvagonzavod, Rostec, MIG, Sukhoi, Tupolev “,” Digital Weapons and Protection “(TsOR),” Admiralty Shipyards “,” Almaz-Antey “, OKB” Novator “, NPO High-Precision Complexes, NPO Splav, Concern Sozvezdie, JSC NPO Basalt and others.
Currently, there are 90 legal entities and individuals on the sanctions list.
On the night of January 30, 2018, the US Treasury published the so-called “Kremlin list”, which included almost all representatives of the Russian leadership and major Russian entrepreneurs – more than 200 people in total. The report was prepared in accordance with the Law “On Countering America's Adversaries Through Sanctions”, which was adopted in the United States in the summer of 2017. It does not automatically entail the imposition of sanctions against these individuals, but implies that restrictive measures against them by Washington may be imposed in the future.
US sanctions against the Russian Federation within the framework of the law “On Countering America's Adversaries Through Sanctions” also affected the Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline.
Sanctions on the Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline
Nord Stream 2 envisages the construction of two branches of the gas pipeline with a total capacity of 55 billion cubic meters per year from the Russian coast through the Baltic Sea to Germany. Also, the pipe will pass through the territorial or exclusive economic zones of Finland, Sweden and Denmark. The US opposes and promotes its liquefied natural gas to the EU. On December 20, 2019, US President Donald Trump signed the country's defense budget for next year, which provides for the introduction of sanctions against Nord Stream 2 and Turkish Stream. The US has demanded that pipeline companies stop construction immediately. Allseas, which laid the Nord Stream 2, suspended work and recalled special vessels. It continued a year later – in December 2020.
In October 2020, the United States extended the PEESA package on the Protection of Europe's Energy Security to the project. Companies that provide services, equipment or funding to modernize or equip ships on the project are now eligible for sanctions. The US defense budget for 2021 also suggests expanding sanctions against the project. In January 2021, the US expanded its sanctions against Nord Stream 2 to include testing, inspection and certification services, as well as services or capacity to modernize stacker vessels. Shortly thereafter, the Norwegian company DNV GL announced that it would cease all activities related to the inspection of the pipeline and would not be able to certify it. The Danish consulting firm Rambøll has also announced its withdrawal from the project.
On January 19, 2021, the United States imposed sanctions against the Fortuna vessel and its owner, the KBT-Rus company. However, both the ship and the company have already come under restrictions under another law – On Countering America's Adversaries Through Sanctions (CAATSA). The barge laid a section of pipe in Germany and is involved in construction in Danish waters. Washington threatens to tighten restrictions, Berlin opposes.
Sanctions in connection with the “Skripal case”
In August 2018, the American administration called the reason for the introduction of new sanctions “the use of chemical weapons by Russia in Salisbury,” where in March 2018, according to the British authorities, they poisoned former GRU colonel Sergei Skripal and his daughter Yulia. Moscow categorically denies all accusations of involvement in the incident. On August 8, 2018, the US administration announced the application of the 1991 US Law on the Control of Chemical and Biological Weapons and the Prohibition of Their Military Use with respect to Russia. In August 2018, the first package of restrictive measures came into force. The United States has limited options for aid to Russia, allowing only urgent humanitarian aid in the form of “food and other agricultural products.” Also, the State Department stopped issuing licenses to Russian state-owned companies for the export of American weapons and dual-use products, with the exception of exports necessary for cooperation in space or for civil aviation flights. Russia was also denied “any loans, credit guarantees, and other financial support” by any US institution. In August 2019, the second package of US sanctions against Russia came into force over the Salisbury incident. According to Washington, the reason for the introduction of new restrictive measures was the fact that Moscow did not provide guarantees of non-use of chemical and biological weapons prescribed by the relevant law. New restrictive measures apply to the national debt. In addition, it was reported that the United States will hinder the provision and extension of loans to Russia by the largest financial institutions (World Bank, IMF). In turn, American banks were banned from participating in the initial placement of Russian sovereign debt, denominated in non-rubles, and from lending to the government in non-rubles. Also introduced are restrictions on the export of dual-use products that can be used to develop chemical and biological weapons. In addition, Russian citizens Alexander Mishkin and Anatoly Chepiga, who are accused by the British authorities in the case of poisoning the Skripals in Salisbury, were also sanctioned in the Skripals case. In its statement, the US Treasury also names them as GRU officers responsible for the assassination attempt on Sergei Skripal and his daughter.
Sanctions due to the arrest of Alexei Navalny
On March 2, 2021, the United States imposed sanctions against Russia due to the situation with opposition politician Alexei Navalny. The charges against Moscow are connected with two episodes – the possible poisoning of the blogger, after which he was treated in Germany, and also with the replacement of his suspended sentence for 3.5 years in prison in the Yves Rocher case.
Washington said it would stop providing Moscow with any assistance other than urgent humanitarian aid. The United States added Russia to the list of countries that were denied the export of defense technology. A partial exception was made for state cooperation in the space sector. In addition, the United States has banned government financial institutions from lending to Moscow. This also applies to the American Export-Import Bank.
Seven “high-ranking representatives” of the Russian government were also under sanctions. In addition, the US trade department has blacklisted 14 organizations “for the production of biological and chemical weapons.” Among them – 13 commercial companies, including nine in Russia, three in Germany, one in Switzerland.
Three Russian research organizations were also subject to restrictions: the 27th Scientific Center of the Ministry of Defense, the 33rd Central Scientific Research Institute of the Ministry of Defense and the Scientific Research Institute of Organic Chemistry and Technology (GosNIIOKhT). Any export or re-export of products associated with these organizations falls under the US “presumption of refusal” licensing regime.
On March 17, 2021, the United States extended export restrictions against Russia due to the situation with Alexei Navalny. The sanctions concern exports related to national security. Exceptions for aviation and space will be valid only until September 1, including state and commercial space flights, civil aviation, American companies operating in Russia and their subsidiaries. After September 1, the “presumption of refusal” will apply to the licensing of all products related to national security.
In response to the introduction of anti-Russian sanctions by Western countries, Russia is introducing retaliatory measures. So, there are mirror measures on the US sanctions lists. In April 2013, the Russian Foreign Ministry, in response to the American “Magnitsky list”, published a Russian list of 18 American citizens who are now barred from entering the Russian Federation. In July 2014, in response to Washington's expansion of the sanctions list, Russia barred 12 US citizens from entering the country. The “stop list” of Americans banned from entering Russia remains open.
On January 1, 2013, the “Dima Yakovlev law” came into force in Russia, which became Russia's response to the “Magnitsky Act”. The law applies to US citizens who violated the rights of Russians or were involved in crimes against them. The document provides for the compilation of a list of such Americans: they are prohibited from entering Russia, and the activities of legal entities under their control on the territory of the Russian Federation are suspended.
On August 6, 2014, Russian President Vladimir Putin signed a decree on the application of certain special economic measures to ensure security.
The President of the Russian Federation has banned the import of agricultural products, raw materials and foodstuffs into Russia to countries that have imposed sanctions against the Russian Federation for a year. The United States was also subject to restrictions. On November 21, 2020, Russian President Vladimir Putin signed a decree extending until December 31, 2021, certain special economic measures against countries that have imposed sanctions against Russia.
On November 25, 2017, in response to the harassment of Russian media in the United States, Russian President Vladimir Putin signed a law on the status of a foreign agent for the media. According to the document, any foreign media outlet that receives funding or property from abroad (including from Russian legal entities sponsored from foreign sources) can become a foreign agent. Media recognized as foreign agents are required to appropriately label their materials and provide reports. In case of refusal to register, these media outlets are subject to the provisions of the law on foreign agents-NGOs.
On June 4, 2018, Russian President Vladimir Putin signed the law “On Measures of Impact on Unfriendly Actions of the United States and Other Foreign States.”
The document allows the introduction of counter-sanctions in response to the unfriendly steps of the United States and other countries. Measures can be applied against states, organizations under their jurisdiction, as well as officials and citizens
The law allows you to terminate or suspend international cooperation in certain industries, prohibit the import or export of products and raw materials, as well as participate in public procurement or privatization of state and municipal property.
At the same time, the bill permits the introduction of other restrictions – “in accordance with the president's decision, in order to be able to quickly respond to the changing situation.”
The material was prepared on the basis of information from RIA Novosti and open sources