Dr Maria Shagina Profile picture
Postdoc Fellow @UZH_en | Geneva International Sanctions Network | @YGLNtweets | @GLOBSEC Young Leader '20 | Focus on sanctions, energy & post-Soviet region
21 Jul
The text of the US-Germany statement on #Nordstream2 has been published! This is still far from a done deal as it is still contingent on Ukraine's consent and it doesn't look good (more below). Key points of and few thoughts on the announced framework:
The discussion on NS2 is embedded in a much broader framework, incl. security concerns and climate change, than it was originally discussed. It starts with a strong emphasis on security element: "to push back against Russian aggression and malign activities in Ukraine & beyond."
Both US and Germany are ready to resort to new sanctions if Russia attempt to use energy as a weapon or commit further aggressive acts against Ukraine. Curbing Russian export capabilities to Europe in the energy sector isn't limited to gas and could include other relevant sectors
Read 13 tweets
8 Jun
Roscosmos can't launch some satellites due to the lack of microcircuits that can't be supplied to Russia due to sanctions. Rogozin called statements which claim that sanctions help develop the country's economy "stupid".
After 7 years of import substitution, dependency on foreign critical system components and machine tools remains high. In 2017, Western countries still provided 57% of Russian machine tool imports (based on import value).
Source: FOI
Over time Russia has increasingly turned to third countries which didn't impose sanctions such as China, India, Turkey and Belarus. For example, India was meant to provide chipsets for Russia’s new generation satellites GLONASS after being deprived of Western components.
Read 4 tweets
18 May
The Biden admin's next move on #NordStream2 aims to buy more time for the negotiations with Germany while keeping leverage up its sleeve.🧵
As the PEESA sanctions report was due yesterday, the State Department is reportedly about to sanction "a handful of Russian ships". Akademik Cherskiy, its obscure owner and supply vessels are likely candidates. 1/
The State Depart will acknowledge that the corporate entity Nord Stream 2 AG and its CEO Matthias Warnig are engaged in sanctionable activity, but will waive the application of sanctions. PEESCA includes the provision that sanctions can be waived on national interest grounds 2/
Read 5 tweets
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 5 tweets
15 Apr
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;...
Read 11 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