US to impose new sanctions on Russia in near future: Treasury Secretary

ANI | Updated: Jan 31, 2018 10:22 IST

Washington D.C. [U.S], Jan 31 (ANI): The United States will impose new sanctions on Russia "in the near future", Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said on Tuesday.

The warning came just a day after President Donald Trump's administration declined to take new steps against Moscow under a law designed to retaliate for election interference, drawing criticism from Democrats, in particular, reported local media.

Instead, the US Treasury Department published the list through the Countering America's Adversaries Through Sanctions Act (CAASTA), which was meant to punish Russia for its alleged interference in the 2016 US presidential elections, the annexation of Crimea and the ongoing military operations in eastern Ukraine by the Russian forces.

The US State Department declared it was not currently necessary to impose new sanctions under the law adopted last year.

However, the Treasury publicly identified over 100 Russian officials and business leaders eligible for sanctions.

"In the near future, you'll see additional sanctions," Mnuchin said during Senate testimony. "In the next several months, maybe a month, I want to be careful in making that commitment."

Democratic lawmakers pressed Mnuchin to defend the administration's decision to hold off.

"There was an extraordinary amount of work that went into this," Mnuchin said of the list of 114 people, including 96 "oligarchs" close to Putin each with an estimated net worth of $1 billion or more.

"Our sanctions going forward will be based upon a lot of the work that the intelligence community did," he added. "We did not waive or delay." (ANI)