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International balance of forces in Syria after Raqqa’s liberation unclear yet — expertMilitary & Defense October 20, 21:05
Marie Harf added that the US State Department also suspended issuing licenses allowing exporting defense purposed products and services to Russia. She specified that this was decided March 24. This policy would be in effect until a new resolution on this issue is drafted, Harf noted.
When asked by an ITAR-TASS correspondent to explain why two separate decisions — of the State Department and of the Chamber of Commerce — were needed on this regard, she answered: “Because it refers to two different categories of supplies (i.e. goods and services).” However, Harf couldn’t specify, which flows of goods are regulated by the State Department, and which by the Department of Commerce.
On its part, the Bureau of Industry and Security of the Department of Commerce responsible for controlling export has made a decision to suspend the issuing of licenses for transferring double-purpose products made in the USA to Russia on March 1. The decision was not publicly announced.Both decisions were made together with other measures of sanctioning imposed by US administration in recent days against Russia in view of sharp differences between the two countries regarding the situation in Ukraine.
The Department of Commerce says in its notice that since March 1, 2014, the Bureau of Industry and Security has suspended the issuing of licenses allowing exporting or re-exporting goods to Russia. The Bureau will exercise this practice until a new corresponding announcement, the document says.
According to the Bureau’s data, in 2013, a total of 1832 contracts have been approved for supplies of double-purpose goods that may be used in civilian and in defense purposes by US producers to Russia. The overall cost of these agreements amounted to $1.491 billion.
Among the commodities of this type that were supplied to Russia, there are, in particular, police helmets, optical sights for firearms, ammunition for pump-action shotguns, paint for fingerprints, lasers, optical sensors, specialized motorcars and many other goods.
March 27, it was announced about the suspension of the two countries’ cooperation in combating drug trafficking. Deputy Director of the Office of National Drug Control Policy Michael Boticelli denied the invitation for a visit to Moscow.
March 17, the USA has published the black list of Russian and Ukrainian officials. The sanctions refer to freezing of the officials’ assets in the USA and ban for the Americans from entering into business contacts with people from the sanctions list.
Meanwhile, President Barack Obama threatened with further sanctions against Russia, if it “continues interfering with Ukraine’s affairs”.