Global Regulatory Enforcement Law Blog

This alert follows our previous alerts on the Russia/Ukraine sanctions.

U.S. Passes New Sanctions Authorizing Statute - Sends Russia Frigid End of Year Message

President Obama: U.S. will “review and calibrate” sanctions in response to Russia’s actions On December 18, 2014, President Obama signed into law the Ukraine Freedom and Support Act of 2014 (“the Act”), the latest move in a series of sanctions imposed on Russia by the United States and the EU over the past year (full coverage of the Russia sanctions can be found here). While the Act gives the president authority to implement new sanctions against Russia, President Obama has declined to enforce the new provisions at this time. The strategy behind this move is unclear, though it appears to be a “wait and see” approach with the hope that even just the threat of new U.S. sanctions will curb Russia’s destabilizing efforts in Ukraine and the wider Eastern Europe and Central Asia regions. It is also believed that the U.S. administration wants to continue to remain in lock-step with the EU and its imposition of sanctions against Russia.

The provisions of the Act are wide-reaching, and if he chooses to enforce them, would authorize the president to provide defense articles, services, and training to Ukraine; address humanitarian relief efforts for displaced persons; and encourage increased investment in Ukraine’s energy sector with decreased Ukrainian dependence on Russian energy sources. The Act also puts forth several key export controls and sanctions provisions that could be implemented against Russia.

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