The White House announced on Friday the decision of US President Donald Trump to prolong sanctions against Russia over the situation in Ukraine for one more year.
According to the White House press-service, the decision refers to the punitive measures against Russia, imposed by the US government on March 6, March 16, March 20, and December 19, 2014.
“Therefore, in accordance with section 202(d) of the National Emergencies Act (50 U.S.C. 1622(d)), I am continuing for 1 year the national emergency declared in Executive Order 13660,” Trump said.
As Trump explained his decision, he came to the conclusion that all these sanctions “should remain in force after March 6, 2018”, adding that he will keep these restrictive measures “for another year”.
Moscow’s relations with Western states have significantly deteriorated since 2014, following the coup in Ukraine, resulting in the power change and forcing then-president Viktor Yanukovych to flee the country. Since 2014, the EU member states and the US have imposed several rounds of anti-Russia sanctions, while Moscow has repeatedly refuted the allegations of interference in Ukraine’s affairs, warning that the Western sanctions are counterproductive and undermine global stability.
Starting on January 29, the United States began imposing new sanctions under Section 231 of Countering America’s Adversaries Through Sanctions Act (CAATSA) over significant transactions with Russian defense or intelligence sectors, stating that Russia allegedly meddled the US presidential elections in 2016.
Russia has repeatedly denied interfering in the US and other elections, saying that such actions would go against the principles and conduct of Russian foreign policy.