Over the past month, we have closely monitored efforts by the U.S. Congress to tie the president's hands over sanctions on Russia. Today, the president signed the Countering America's Adversaries Through Sanctions Act (CAATSA or the Act), which will have a significant impact on numerous U.S. industries operating in Russia. And Russia's response to the legislation indicates that further tensions between the United States and Russia – and possibly additional sanctions on both sides – are likely to follow.
At its most basic level, CAATSA introduces new sanctions and codifies existing sanctions against Russia – significantly restricting the president's power to unilaterally remove them. CAATSA especially affects the energy and the financial industries. Among other things, the Act tightens restrictions on the provision of financing and the issuance of new debt, and prohibits certain exports in support of Russian off-shore drilling and shale projects. More broadly, it targets individuals who are responsible for cyber-attacks against the United States, contributing to instability in Ukraine, and/or associated with the Russian government. These individual sanctions, in particular, are likely to be felt across industries.
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