The US has imposed a wide-ranging sanctions package on Russia's equally wide-ranging "harmful foreign activities" today. A few thoughts in a detailed thread🧵:…
The aim of the latest sanctions is deterrence: to send a signal that "the United States will impose costs in a strategic and economically impactful manner on Russia IF it continues or escalates its destabilizing international actions."
Destabilizing int actions are defined quite broadly: 1) undermining the conduct of free and fair democratic elections; 2) facilitating malicious cyber activities; 3) fostering/using transnational corruption to influence foreign governments;...
4) pursuing extraterritorial activities targeting dissidents or journalists; 5) undermining security in countries and regions important to US national security; 6) violating well-established principles of int law, incl. respect for the territorial integrity of states.
Thus, the sanctions are tied to Russia’s election interference and disinfo campaign in the US and elsewhere; the cyber attack on SolarWinds; the Afghanistan bounties, annexation of Crimea in 2014, among other transgressions.
This is quite a lot of "harmful foreign activities" in one batch which makes it hard to delineate them, hold Russia accountable and lift them if there is compliance.
But more importantly, the severity of sanctions doesn't seem to match the intent of imposing costs in an "economically impactful manner".
Why? - limited sanctions on Russian sovereign debt with carve-outs; no sanctions on oligarchs; no sanctions on SOEs/banks.
What measures have been imposed?
➡️For disinfo activities and interference in the 2020 US elections:
- sanctions on 16 entities & 16 individuals, incl. First Deputy Chief of Staff Gromov, 4 disinfo outlets;
- Yevgeniy Prigozhin's network in Africa…
➡️For the occupation of Crimea: 5 individuals & 3 entities, connected to the construction of the Kerch Bridge and for severe human rights abuses against the local population.…
➡️For Russia's malign activities:
- primary-market sanctions on the purchase of rouble/non-rouble Russian bonds issued after June 14;
- 5 entities in the technology sector supporting intel services;
- announcing the SVR responsible for the SolarWinds hack…
A number of "unseen" measures were also announced, but hidden from the public eye those measures are unlikely to contribute to deterrence and add to the perception that Biden will be tough on Russia.

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More from @maria_shagina

16 Apr
#NordStream2: While the latest US sanctions don't explicitly target NS2, it includes a provision that can target any Russian person/entity (foreign branches too) if they found responsible for/complicit in cutting/ disrupting gas or energy supplies to Europe, the Caucasus or Asia.
The PEESA sanctions report is due tomorrow - Cherskiy and supply vessels could be potential targets, but there is little room for manoeuvre if one wants to avoid targeting German/European companies.
As the US-Germany negotiations look tedious, buying more time might be futile.
🇩🇪 is reluctant to alter its policy and link the completion of NS2 to other issues like escalation in Donbas/Navalny.
Maas: "I am skeptical that halting the NS2 project would lead to a de-escalation by Moscow - in fact it could have the opposite effect."…
Read 4 tweets
15 Apr
The US is to announce new sanctions on Russia for the SolarWinds hack and election meddling today:
- 10 govt & intel officials/20 entities
- barring US financial institutions from trading new Russian sovereign debt
- expel 10 Russian diplomats from the US…
The list of targets will include Internet Research Agency, a Kremlin-linked troll farm. Russian foreign-intelligence service will be formally accused of conducting the SolarWinds hack. Among those expelled, there will be targets involved in the bounty scandal on US soldiers.
But most importantly, US finan institutions will be barred from buying new bonds directly from Russia’s central bank, finance ministry and the country’s National Welfare Fund after June 14.
Read 5 tweets
30 Jan
An unexpected, Trump-like move by Ukraine - Kyiv is imposing sanctions against 4 Chinese companies, the investors of Motor Sich. The sanctions include asset freezes, restrictions on trade operations, cessation of flights & traffic for 3 years.…
After Ukraine's sanctions against Russia, Motor Sich lost its main export market and was in dire need of investments. In 2016, Chinese Skyrizon bought 56% of the company's shares, but Ukraine's Security Service seized them under US pressure.
A good piece, outlining Motor Sich's place in the crossfire, here by @olenalennon…
Read 5 tweets
24 Jan
The European Commission has published a new strategy that aims to build and reinforce its "open strategic autonomy". What does it mean for EU sanctions? A thread🧵…
What is an "open strategic autonomy"? The Commission defines it as an ability "to promote and defend rules-based multilateralism and develop beneficial bilateral relationships, while protecting itself from unfair and abusive practices." /1
Why is there a need for open strategic autonomy now? The reason lies in a major shift in geopolitics, particularly in the technological sphere. The coronavirus crisis has added to the urgency of strengthening the EU's economic and financial system. /2
Read 13 tweets

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