On 3rd August, the US Treasury issued a news release saying that it was implementing 2 sanctions on the Russian Federation as part of measures imposed by the US pursuant to the Chemical and Biological Weapons Control and Warfare Elimination Act of 1991. It is imposing a prohibition related to certain US bank loans and will oppose multilateral development bank assistance to the Russian Federation. An OFAC Directive, effective from 26th August, prohibits US banks from participating in the primary market for non-rouble denominated bonds issued by Russian and also prohibits US banks from lending non-rouble denominated funds to Russia. OFAC has also issued FAQ in connection to the Directive. In addition, further export restrictions administered by the Department of Commerce are to be implemented. The FAQ make clear that the sanctions are in response to the chemical weapons attack in Salisbury last year and that Russia had failed to provide reliable assurances that it would not engage in future chemical weapons attacks. The prohibitions cover any ministry, agency, or sovereign fund of the Russian Federation, including the Central Bank of Russia, the National Wealth Fund, and the Ministry of Finance of the Russian Federation – but does not include state-owned enterprises of the Russian Federation. The Directive does not prohibit US banks from participating in the secondary market for Russian sovereign debt.
US EXEMPTS AVIATION, SPACE EXPORTS FROM NEW RUSSIA SANCTIONS
The Manila Bulletin on 4th August carried an AP report saying that the Trump administration has decided to exempt aviation safety and space exploration technology from new sanctions, and products related to those sectors will not be automatically subjected to an export ban, but the sanctions do include a presumption of denial for export licences for items that could be used in the production of chemical and biological weapons.
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