On Friday, April 6, the Treasury Department announced sanctions on a variety of Russian entities, including “seven Russian oligarchs and 12 companies they own or control, 17 senior Russian government officials, and a state-owned Russian weapons trading company and its subsidiary, a Russian bank.” Although it will likely take some time before the full impact of the designations can be assessed, they already appear to be having an effect.
Signaling to Congress
Treasury’s announcement makes clear that these designations are intended to satisfy congressional calls for action against Russia, specifically the Countering America’s Adversaries Through Sanctions Act (“CAATSA”), discussed here. Although the designations do not appear to be based on any new authorities established by the CAATSA, Treasury notes that its authority to issue the sanctions was “codified by [the statute].” And in case there was any confusion, the department also adds that these actions grew out of the recently-issued “Oligarch’s Report” (discussed here) which Section 241 of CAATSA required the administration to assemble:
These actions follow the Department of the Treasury’s issuance of the CAATSA Section 241 report in late January 2018. In the Section 241 report, Treasury identified senior Russian government officials and oligarchs. Today’s action targets a number of the individuals listed in the Section 241 report, including those who benefit from the Putin regime and play a key role in advancing Russia’s malign activities.
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