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US Senate set to drastically limit investment in Russia’s energy projects

June 14, 7:39 UTC+3 WASHINGTON

The bill also makes the removal of earlier sanctions impossible without congressional approval

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© AP Photo/Susan Walsh

WASHINGTON, June 14. /TASS/. US senators are set to vest the president with the power to impose sanctions on companies and individuals investing or supporting Russian pipeline projects, according to an amended bill on anti-Russian sanctions expected to be passed by the Congress this week.

Under the amended version, submitted to the Congressional Record on Tuesday, the US president may impose sanctions on a person who "makes an investment… or sells, leases, or provides to the Russian Federation, for the construction of Russian energy export pipelines, goods, services, technology, information, or support."

This provision applies to any project "which has a fair market value of $1,000,000 or more" or "during a 12-month period, have an aggregate fair market value of $5,000,000 or more."

The US leader will also be entitled to blacklist foreigners who invest heavily in Russian oil extraction projects, if this does not contradict national interests of the United States.

The bill also envisages sanctions against those who invest $10,000,000 or more, or facilitates such an investment, if it "directly and significantly contributes to the ability of the Russian Federation to privatize state-owned assets in a manner that unjustly benefits" Russian government officials or their family members.

The sanctioned persons or companies will not be allowed to get the Export-import bank assistance for exports and may have their export license revoked. The president may also prohibit any US financial institution from making loans or providing credits to the sanctioned person totaling more than $10,000,000 in any 12-month period.

The bill would seal the sanctions, imposed by executive orders of ex-president Barack Obama over Crimea’s reunification with Russia and Moscow’s alleged role in the civil conflict in eastern Ukraine, making their removal impossible without congressional approval.

In a separate initiative, the upper chamber plans to put into practice its long-term idea to impose sanctions on those who render significant financial or technical support to the Syrian government.

If the bill, intended to put more pressure on Russia and Iran, is adopted by the Congress and signed into law by the president, the US presidential administration will lose its ability to lift sanctions without consent from the Congress.

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