US senators have proposed new sanctions against Russian oil and gas industry


The U.S. Congress will consider the draft law on the extension and tightening of anti-Russian sanctions. The initiators of the bill were ten senators, according to The Wall Street Journal (WSJ). Among the authors are respected members of both Democratic and Republican parties, including former candidate for US presidents John McCain and rival Donald trump in the primaries in 2016, Marco Rubio.

In the WSJ article emphasizes that the law “On countering the hostile actions of Russia” (the authors of the document understand the alleged attack by Russian hackers on the servers of the Democratic party, supporting the regime of Bashar al-Assad in Syria, the inclusion in structure of Russia the Crimea and the destabilization of the situation in Eastern Ukraine) should significantly limit the possibilities of cooperation of American business with companies from Russia. It is also expected to limit the participation of American banks in the placement of Russian government bonds.

“We were attacked by Russia. Now there’s no time for debate, it is impossible to conduct business as usual,” said the WSJ, one of the authors of the bill, Democrat Ben Cardin, representing in the U.S. Senate from Maryland.

Marco Rubio also explained his participation in the development of new sanctions unfriendly position of Russia.

“Vladimir Putin is not a friend of America, he only understands strength, not weakness in the form of unilateral concessions. This is important to keep in mind when office comes a new President. I will continue to work in our bipartisan coalition to put pressure on Putin and his corrupt regime as long as Russia will not change their behavior,” the statement said Rubio.

The most serious limitations of the developers of the bill propose to impose on investments in the Russian oil and gas industry. Among the proposed measures is, in particular, the prohibition to invest more than $20 million in projects related to the development of Russian companies of oil and gas fields, and invest in the construction and reconstruction of pipelines (more than $5 million per year) and the development of nuclear energy (over $1 million per year).

Simultaneously, new restrictions are planned to enter into any transaction with a sovereign debt of Russia or Russian state — owned companies, sanctions will apply to investors from the US and other countries who have invested more than $10 million in the purchase of privatized Russian authorities assets.

Separate penalties are provided for persons who. according to the U.S. government, undermine “the cybersecurity of public or private infrastructure and democratic institutions.” Speech, in particular, goes about the ban on issuing visas and freezing assets, and banning the provision of any financial or technological support threatening cybersecurity activities, a ban on transactions with the Russian defense sector and intelligence agencies (including FSB and GRU).

In addition, the law provides for the allocation of $25 million for educational programs on cyber security. Another $100 million will be used to support independent Russian media, the fight against “fake news”, etc.

In the words of Senator Cardin, the new law should also significantly limit the ability of the US President to lift the sanctions imposed on Russia in connection with the policy conducted by her in respect of Ukraine. In the case of adoption of law is Donald trump, who is President of the United States January 20, 2017, will be able to cancel the restrictions imposed during the presidency of Barack Obama, only proving to Congress to “improve” the behavior of Russia in the international arena.

In addition, the bill contains a provision explicitly prohibiting the U.S. authorities any actions that may lead to the recognition de jure or de facto sovereignty of Russia over the Crimea, or the recognition of the independence from Georgia of Abkhazia and South Ossetia.

Drafted by senators to the law entered into force, it needs to be passed by Congress and approved by the President of the United States. Press Secretary of the President of Russia Dmitry Peskov has said that the Kremlin hopes that “common sense will prevail”.

“I would not want to speculate hypothetically. While we are talking about a legislative initiative known senators. Of course, one would hope that common sense will prevail and still be able to get out of the peak of this sanctions rhetoric,” — said Peskov (quoted by “RIA Novosti”).

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