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Pressuring Putin
How to Make Russia Sanctions Bite

The release of an “oligarch report” this week should be just the beginning.

Published on: January 31, 2018
Boris Zilberman is deputy director of congressional relations at the Foundation for Defense of Democracies, where he is also a Russia analyst. Follow him on Twitter @rolltidebmz
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  • AbleArcher

    Sanction Russian oligarchs why? For being mean? For being corrupt? For the regime’s aggression and attempts at territorial expansion? Let’s see, who else is aggressive and expansionist, commits even worse human rights abuses, and is better able to challenge US interests? Can you think of it? Trump and Mattis know. The NDS states that both CHINA and Russia are “strategic competitors” and that “great power competition” will be prioritized over many other global missions. Amen.
    And the NSS states “[T]he assumption that engagement with rivals and their inclusion in international institutions and global commerce would turn them into benign actors and trustworthy partners … turned out to be false.” Again, Amen. Finally grownups running the show. First time in perhaps 30 years!

    • CheckYourself

      Yeah very good stuff in both the NSS last month and the NDS this month.

      • Margaret

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    • D4x

      It is the “Presidential Executive Order on Imposing Additional Sanctions with Respect to North Korea, Issued on: September 21, 2017 https://www.whitehouse.gov/presidential-actions/presidential-executive-order-imposing-additional-sanctions-respect-north-korea/ and the State Dep’t’s subsequent relentless ‘maximum pressure’ campaign to further isolate North Korea that has been more successful than anything in CAATSA. Just in time for VP Pence to lead the US delegation to the 2018 PyeongChang Olympic Winter Games beginning Friday, February 9, 2018, where all the venues are in North Korea’s artillery range.

      https://www.congress.gov/bill/115th-congress/house-bill/3364 HR 3364 Countering America’s Adversaries Through Sanctions Act (CAATSA) was solely part of the RussiaCollusion! hysteria of 2017, which too many in Congress, the media, and TAI bitterly cling to today.

      CAATSA was passed in haste, without debate, combining previous laws on Iran, North Korea, & Russia, with new diktats on Russia. Cutting and pasting, without proofreading, the three nations into one law was incompetent and irresponsible.

      Passing it without debate was a deplorable dereliction of the Constitutional obligations of every member of Congress who voted Yea.

      Yes, I read all of it on Aug. 2, 2017, which is more than I can say for Boris Zilberman’s post here.

  • Otis

    As the author notes, for years Putin has been encouraging Russia’s oligarchs to repatriate the billions they have stashed overseas. It is not clear to me why it would be in our (Western) interest to help Putin in this endeavor. I hope no one is seriously thinking that Putin’s system could possibly be destabilized by getting the Russian oligarchs to blame Putin for their sanctions misfortune. It won’t work.

    On the other hand, Zilberman hits the nail on the head regarding sanctions to curtail Russia’s ability to finance its sovereign debt. If we want to ratchet the pain of sanctions up a notch or two, that’s the place to do it.

  • Personally, I do not much like Putin, but I would much rather sanction China than Russia. They are the far greater threat, both in the present and in the foreseeable future.

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