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28 Feb, 2019 10:34

Proposed US sanctions target Russia’s sovereign debt, banks, shipbuilding & LNG projects

Proposed US sanctions target Russia’s sovereign debt, banks, shipbuilding & LNG projects

The US Senate has released a draft law on extending penalties against Russia. The bill threatens to target multiple sectors of the Russian economy, including operations with sovereign debt and investing in LNG projects abroad.

If passed, the bill, titled Defending American Security from Kremlin Aggression Act of 2019 (DASKAA), will ban US nationals from “engaging in transactions with, providing financing for, or otherwise dealing” in Russia’s state debt, including “bonds issued by the Central Bank, the National Wealth Fund, or the Federal Treasury of the Russian Federation, or agents or affiliates of any of these entities.”

The document, which is set to be approved by the US Congress and signed by the president, was introduced by Senators Lindsey Graham and Bob Menendez earlier this year, marking the second attempt by the lawmakers to impose additional sanctions against Moscow. The previous version was defeated last year.

The new package of penalties will also include restrictive measures against the Russian shipbuilding sector along with 24 senior officers of the country’s Federal Security Service. The step is reportedly connected to Russia’s alleged aggression against Ukraine during the standoff near the Crimean coast in the Kerch Strait.

The fresh sanctions will also target Russian banks and financial institutions that support alleged Kremlin interference in democratic processes or elections in other states. Investment in Russian energy projects focused on liquefied natural gas (LNG) export facilities located outside Russia will also be banned under the terms of the latest bill, if approved.

At the same time, the latest version of the bill lacks measures on freezing operations and assets of Russian state-run financial institutions, such as Sberbank and VTB, which had been included in the previous draft.

The bill retains sanctions against “political figures and oligarchs,” as well as their family members over alleged support of “illicit and corrupt activities” on behalf of Russian President Vladimir Putin. It also includes sanctions against the country’s cyber technology sector and developing of crude oil resources located in Russia.

Moreover, the draft bill requires the director of US National Intelligence to submit a detailed report on the personal net worth and assets of the Russian president not later than 180 days after the date of enactment.

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