WASHINGTON, January 31. /TASS/. The process of imposing anti-Russian sanctions began on Monday, January 29, in line with a law passed by the Congress, but, contrary to earlier media reports, this date is not the deadline, a senior US Department of State official said.
"It was not a deadline to impose sanctions; it was actually a start date. It was the start of the race. It was the day on or after which we could start imposing sanctions if we make the determination here at the State Department of activity that falls under the provision," he said during a conference call with reporters.
The official said the United States was working with European allies on measures to deter Russia.
"We have a variety of sanctions tools that CAATSA [Countering America's Adversaries Through Sanctions Act] has given us," the official said. "We also have close cooperation with our European allies where we can - where we discuss a variety of ways that we can counter the Russian threat that’s a common threat to us all. It’s not only about sanctions and it’s certainly not only about 231, but it’s one tool of many that we have in the toolbox."
Washington was expected to announce the introduction of a package of sanctions against those individuals and companies who are large customers of Russia’s defense industry within Countering America’s Adversaries Through Sanctions Act (CAATSA) on Monday.
A representative of the US State Department told TASS earlier that starting from January 30 the State Department might begin imposing sanctions in accordance with section 231 of CAATSA for "significant transactions with persons in the defense and intelligence sectors of the Russian Government.".