Szakonyi: By ignoring the mandate to impose new Russia sanctions, the Trump administration is goading Congress

06 Feb 2018

(Russia Matters) This week’s highly anticipated news on additional Russia sanctions landed with a thud. For weeks, both Moscow and Washington had been astir about the impending steps the Trump administration would take against Russia based on legislation reluctantly signed by the president nearly six months ago and overwhelmingly supported by Congress. The law, called the Countering America's Adversaries Through Sanctions Act, or CAATSA, called for three analytical reports and the imposition of no less than five punitive measures, out of a possible 12, against Russia for interfering in the 2016 U.S. presidential election. The administration instead chose to impose zero new sanctions, saying the current ones were working and the “mere threat” of additional steps had had enough impact. Now we’re left grappling with two questions: Why did the Trump administration reject Congress’ mandate to further punish Russia? And what does its inaction portend for future U.S. policy toward Russia? [...]

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