The Republican Study Committee of the US House of Representatives produced a report with proposals for additional sanctions against Russia. The Republicans propose recognizing Russia as a sponsor of terrorism for supporting the Taliban*, the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps, Hezbollah and the Russian Imperial Movement, which are recognized as terrorist groups in the United States.
The authors of the report note that recognizing a state as a sponsor of terrorism entails a number of restrictions, including a ban on economic activity. As a first step, Congress is to pass a bill that would bind the US Secretary of State to consider whether Russia is a sponsor of terrorism.
Most of the restrictions described in the new Republican report were set forth by representatives of the financial services committee of the U.S. House of Representatives back in May 2019. They then presented a draft of the new bill on new restrictions for Russia.
The most recent report from the Republicans, like last year's document, envisages sanctions against the companies that support Russia's oil and gas projects, restrictions on the redemption of Russian sovereign debt by foreign investors, as well as sanctions within the framework of the DASKAA act (Defending American Security from Kremlin Aggression Act).
In addition, Russia's foreign economic bank, Vnesheconombank (VEB), will have to be added to the SDN sanctions list too. The House Committee on Financial Services proposed adding one or more financial institutions there. In addition to VEB, last year's document mentioned Sberbank, VTB, Gazprombank, Rosselkhozbank, Promsvyazbank. To crown it all, Russia will have to be excluded from the international payment system SWIFT.
The report notes that sanctions against Russia should be extended to "leaders of its disinformation campaign." As an example, Republicans propose imposing sanctions on chairman of the board of directors of AFK Sistema Vladimir Yevtushenkov, former Prime Minister of Georgia Bidzina Ivanishvili and the pro-Russian oligarch, leader of the Ukrainian party Opposition Platform - For Life, Viktor Medvedchuk.
The Republicans believe that Congress should instruct the US Department of State to arrange the transfer of information to the Russians directly. The report says that the administration of the 44th US President Barack Obama was reluctant to challenge Moscow by providing news and information to Russian citizens directly, as that would be considered an undesirable escalation of the conflict.
In total, the 120-page report contains more than 130 suggestions to counter America's most aggressive global adversaries, including "toughest sanctions ever proposed" against Russia, China, and Iran.
As a result of eight years of Obama's rule, his failed policy contributed to the strengthening of America's biggest opponents. The activities of Russia and China, which allegedly seek to undermine US leadership on the world stage, were left without control at that time, the report says. Iran continues to develop nuclear weapons, seeks to destroy Israel and "acts as the most generous sponsor of terrorism in the world." According to the authors of the report, all these threats require new laws to promote the interests of the United States inside and outside the country.
In February, the USA unveiled a new counterintelligence strategy for 2020-2022, which announced Russia and China biggest threats to the security of the United States. Russia and China operate around the world, use all instruments of national power against the United States and have a wide range of modern intelligence capabilities, the document said.
Other threats include Cuba, Iran, North Korea, the Hezbollah movement, the Islamic State* and Al-Qaida* terrorist organizations, transnational criminal organizations, and others. They use increasingly sophisticated tools to achieve economic security goals and exert pressure on competitors. All this threatens to undermine the military advantage of the United States, including in space, as well as integrity, credibility and authenticity of American products and services.
*terrorist organizations, banned in Russia
Since the likes of the traditional Inauguration Day in the national Capitol are likely never to be witnessed again, take this opportunity from one who has been there to relate some truth about the experience