The United States will sanction Russian oligarchs this week, probably on Thursday evening. The government is targeting Moscow for meddling in the 2016 U.S. election. This accusation could be the most aggressive move against Russia’s business elite and could cause bigger moves on the financial markets.
Recently, Trump has been criticized for avoiding this situation and for doing too little to punish Russia for the election meddling.
Reuters informs that this action, which could affect people close to President Vladimir Putin, reflects Washington’s desire to hold Russia to account for allegedly interfering in the election – which Moscow denies – even as U.S. President Donald Trump holds out hope for good relations with Putin.
Additionally, four sources said the sanctions would be imposed under the Countering America’s Adversaries Through Sanctions Act, also known as CAATSA, which was passed by Republicans and Democrats seeking toexce punish Russia for its 2014 annexation of Crimea from Ukraine, involvement in the Syrian civil war and meddling in the 2016 U.S. presidential election, according to Reuters.
U.S.-Russian ties have worsened with allegations, which Moscow denies, that Russia was responsible for a March 4 nerve agent attack on a former Russian spy in Britain. On March 26, the United States and several European states announced plans to expel more than 100 Russian diplomats in response.
The White House and Treasury declined to comment on whether they planned to impose sanctions this week. When asked about the issue, a senior U.S. official said:
“The administration is committed to implementing the CAATSA law as we have said many times. We published an oligarch designation recently and the secretary of the Treasury said further action would be taken. But at this time we don’t have anything specific to announce.”
When U.S. officially implements this kind of sanctions, it could cause moves on the forex pair USD/RUB, with the Russian rubble likely to decline.