State Department Puts Russian Defense, Intel Entities On Sanctions List

The U.S. State Department named 39 Russian defense and intelligence-related entities under a new sanctions law, Reuters reports. The law requires sanctions on individuals who engage in “a significant transaction” with the Russian entities.

State Department officials have noted that Friday’s motion does not itself impose new sanctions, and determinations will be made on a case by case basis.

The list includes major Russian arms makers as well as Rosoboronexport, the state-run Russian arms exporter, as well as the St. Petersburg-based Special Technology Center, which former President Barack Obama sanctioned in December, saying it played a role in Moscow’s hacking and other interference in the 2016 U.S. presidential election.

State Department officials have also indicated that the Trump administration would move carefully in imposing sanctions and dealing with issues such as U.S. allies who buy Russian-made weaponry or spare parts, Reuters adds.

“There is a significance threshold that would exclude certain things that are less than significant. Obviously we’re going to consider the totality of circumstances.” one official underscored.

State Department guidance released on Friday says that in determining whether a transaction is “significant,” officials would weigh its impact on U.S. national security; its size and scope; and the importance of the deal to Russia’s defense and intelligence sector, Reuters adds.

The law requires Trump to impose sanctions by January 29 on transactions that are found to meet the definition and which took place after he signed the legislation in August, Reuters notes.

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