The White House Finally Imposes Sanctions on Russia

A month and a half after the Congressional deadline for imposing sanctions on Russia expired, the White House has finally made a move.

19 individuals and five organizations were targeted in sanctions announced on Thursday, March 15 — and the Trump administration emphasized that these penalties were not just for activities in the 2016 election. Officials disclosed that Russia also interfered with the power grid, and the sanctions aimed to address this violation, as well as other threats to U.S. infrastructure.

The Department of Justice announced the results of a separate investigation into Russian “troll farms,” naming specific individuals and organizations involved in manipulating online sentiments.

The sanctions effectively “block“ any property under U.S. jurisdiction, including bank accounts and real estate. Subjects of the sanctions are also banned from visiting the country or conducting business with U.S. citizens. This policy aims to penalize the targeted individuals and organizations for their role in activities to undermine national security.

The sanctions mark a dramatic departure from the administration’s earlier claim that the “threat” of penalties was sufficient without formalized moves. But the White House has been under tremendous pressure to take action in the face of mounting evidence of election interference, from members of both major political parties. The Congressional effort saw heavy bipartisan support, illustrating that elected officials are very concerned about U.S. integrity. After all, sanctions are an extreme measure with potentially serious and long-lasting consequences.

U.S. Senator Bob Menendez of New Jersey, a ranking member of the Senate Foreign Relations committee, issued a press release noting that while the sanctions are a positive step, they’re by no means the final actions against Russia.

Menendez pointed out that the president has failed to enforce several other mandatory elements of the bill. These include sanctions on Russian crude oil projects; action on financial institutions; sanctions on entities with a history of foreign rights violations and evading sanctions; sanctions on those involved in interactions with Russian intelligence; sanctions on the transfer of materiel to Syria; and limits on investment in activities that privatize state-owned resources in Russia for the financial benefit of Russian officials.

But there’s a twist to the sanction announcement. Several of the named parties were already subject to sanctions from both the Obama and Trump administrations. Many were also relatively unimportant, and terminating their ability to do business in the United States isn’t likely to have a significant effect on Russia itself. Meaningful sanctions would need to be more far-reaching and create actual consequences. Some critics argue that this move was just a slap on the wrist.

Meanwhile, Russia has threatened to retaliate by adding U.S. nationals to its “black list,” in a tit-for-tat move. And the United States isn’t the only nation that Russia’s unhappy with right now.

In the wake of a terrorist attack in England using a nerve agent known as Novichok, British authorities expelled several Russian diplomats. Now Russia is preparing to do the same with British diplomats in Moscow. This couldn’t come at a worse time for Russia. The country’s presidential election is on March 18, and Vladimir Putin wants to look as strong as possible.

Photo Credit: Dmitry Dzhus/Flickr

60 comments

Marie W
Marie Wabout a month ago

Thanks

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Brian F
Brian F6 months ago

Rhoberta E You keep obsessively throwing that word BOT and Troll around. It makes your arguments appear weak. Our media is owned by 6 corporations, and CNN, MSNBC, and Fox news lie all the time, and smear progressives, like Bernie Sanders, and Jill Stein, but you could care less, and we get it. However just calling me a BOT and a TROLL, does not disprove my assertion. The fact that corporate control of our media doesn't bother you, is disturbing.

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Rhoberta E
Rhoberta E6 months ago

brian f
BOT and YOUR typical response. Use your brain and sort out the truth instead of trashing everyone and everything.
BTW, brian, Ms.Clinton isn't the President and this IS 2018

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Brian F
Brian F6 months ago

Rhoberta E News sources are supposed to be honest, and unbiased, and corporate controlled MSNBC, CNN, and Fox news lie all the time. MSNBC lied about the Iraq war, and unfairly supported Hillary over Bernie Sanders. Only six corporations own our media. Your problem is that you listen to the corporate media, and believe their lies. Jill Stein is much better than Hillary, who travelled to India, fell down the stairs 3 times, and had to be helped, and blamed everyone else, except herself for losing to the worst candidate in history. It doesn't help when Hillary refuses to accept responsibility for being a horribly corrupt candidate, and losing to this fraud Trump.

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Rhoberta E
Rhoberta E6 months ago

brian f
BOT
I guess that means YOU'RE not intelligent enough to do your own fact finding then.
We have had this conversation before too, brian. It doesn't matter WHO owns what because ALL news sources even the ones you deem appropriate are responsible to a BOD or CEO. To disseminate news on television, radio, internet or newspaper isn't free.
NOBODY will support Ms. Stein and you know that. She is NOT a viable candidate even IF you think she is wonderful. She hasn't shown her face in over a year and IF she was serious she would find a way. After all, if she can travel to Russia and find money for a recount, she's not exactly penniless. If she approached the mainstream media I'm quite sure they would like to hear what she's doing and you ALSO know that.
Maybe YOU should wave YOUR magic wand to move into 2018

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Brian F
Brian F6 months ago

Corporate fake Democrats like Mike Kelly think that the Democrats who cheated Bernie Sanders out of his primary, and caused this crook Trump to be elected are better than the Republicans. He can't understand that the Democrats voted to give Trump his 600 billion dollar budget, 16 Democrats voted with the Republicans, to end Dodd-Frank banking regulations, so we can have another 2008 crash, and half the Democrats are refusing to support Medicare for all, because they are crooks like the Republicans. In addition the Democrats kicked all the progressives who like Bernie Sanders out of the party, so they can continue their corruption. Corporations own both our corrupt parties and our media, and voting for the Democrats as the lesser of the two evils is not the answer. We need a third party and Jill Stein. If everyone voted for her she could win, but stubborn corporate fake Democrats keep making excuses, like she can never win. Well, she could win, if we all supported her. What is the alternative, another corrupt corporate Democrat like Hillary, who supported natural gas fracking, Monsanto, the TPP, and the Iraq war, and refused to support Medicare for all?

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Brian F
Brian F6 months ago

Rhoberta E Actually your statement is a copout. Only 6 corporations own our media, and the main news stations, MSNBC, CNN, and Fox, are all corporate controlled propaganda networks, and they give Jill Stein very little air time because she is a threat to their corruption. Why doesn't she spring her own "air time"? Like she's going to wave her magic wand, and suddenly without money, she will appear on every news outlet. Corporations own our media and both corrupt parties, and are shutting Jill Stein and progressives out of our media, because she doesn't take money from them, and tow the corporate line. Why did the Democrats fire all the progressives from the party? So they can continue their corruption, and make millions from Wall Street, banks, big pharma, and our criminal healthcare industry. Your post is just like all your other boring post. You and trolls like Mike K, just make excuses for the corruption of the Democrats, who have sold our country out to Wall Street and corporations, and are just as corrupt as the Republicans. TROLL.

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Mike K
Mike Kelly6 months ago

Brianbot is stuck in replay.

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Rhoberta E
Rhoberta E7 months ago

brian f
You have excuses for everything don't you. If she's SO wonderful why doesn't she spring for her own "air time" I'm sure she has SOME supporters like you for instance .Your statement is an absolute copout and you know it
Otherwise your post is just like the other few thousand blaming everyone.
BOT

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Janis K
Janis K7 months ago

Thanks for sharing.

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