Vastavam web: Under pressure from an impatient Congress, President Donald Trump’s administration belatedly published a list of Russian firms and agencies to comply with a new sanctions law.Trump had opposed the law, which restricted his authority to loosen measures imposed to punish Russia for its meddling in Ukraine and alleged interference in US politics.Under the act, the State Department was obliged to draw up within 60 days a list of contractors with ties to Russia’s military and intelligence agencies.
On Thursday it finally sent the list to Congress, 25 days late, and yesterday it published it on its website.The companies named include mainstays of Russia’s export industry such as the huge military arms and vehicle supplier Rosoboronexport and iconic firearms pioneer Kalashnikov.Speaking on condition of anonymity, he said that by banning transactions with the listed firms the US could limit “the sale of advanced Russian weaponry around the world.”
Russia’s arms export industry is a major plank of its economy and its clients include not only US foes like Iran and Syria, but important defence partners like India.Some of Washington’s allies in the Middle East have flirted with buying Russian air defense systems and some NATO allies in eastern Europe still use Russian-designed equipment.These include aviation giants like Sukhoi and Tupolev and specialists in space research and missile technologies.
The list was published this week after complaints from both Republican and Democratic lawmakers that the administration appeared to be dragging its feet.On Thursday, Senator Bob Corker, the Republican chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee and in recent weeks a sharp critic of Trump, welcomed the delivery.But he warned: “Congress will expect thorough and timely consultation until full implementation is complete.” Any prospect of rapid detente has been wrecked by a diplomatic stand-off and by the ongoing investigation into Russia’s alleged role in Trump’s 2016 election victory.
The president himself has angrily dismissed suggestions that Putin weighed in by directing an army of hackers and internet trolls to smear Trump’s rival Hillary Clinton.But US intelligence agencies believe Moscow at least tried to influence the result, and a US special prosecutor is investigating whether the Trump campaign colluded in this.Nevertheless, the State Department officials who presented the list insisted the administration will cooperate with Congress in implementing the sanctions.”On the question about interference in the election, I think it’s very clear. The intelligence community has established very clearly what that issue is,” one said.