Mike Pompeo

Pompeo needs to explain the delay in the second package of sanctions in the Skripal case

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Stephen Lynch (Massachusetts Democrat), Chairman of the U.S. Lower House of Congress Subcommittee on Oversight and State Reform, sent a request to Secretary of State Michael Pompeo about the reasons for the almost nine-month delay in the United States enforcing the second Skripali anti-Russian sanctions package.

She outlined two congressman letters at her disposal addressed to the head of the US foreign department.  Lynch in his first letter, dated August 5, requested information about who in the US administration ordered the introduction of the first package of sanctions against Russia.  The legislator also wanted to receive from Pompeo a copy of the recommendations on sanctions intended for the White House, a list of officials who approved the second package of anti-Russian sanctions, a transcript of a telephone conversation between President Donald Trump and Russian leader Vladimir Putin in July and a number of other documents.

According to the television company, the congressman, without waiting for the Secretary of State’s response by the due date of August 23, sent Pompeo a second letter last Monday.  In this message, Lynch repeated his first request and expressed concern about the insufficient, in his opinion, coverage of the new sanctions.  “According to former officials of the National Security Council (SNB) of the White House, the State Department and the Ministry of Finance, these sanctions are long overdue, but are insignificant and barely hurt the Russian economy,” the congressman wrote, urging Pompeo to give an essential and effective character to anti-Russian restrictions.

The second package of US anti-Russian sanctions in the Skripals case entered into force on August 26, 2019 after the publication of the relevant document in the electronic database of the Federal Register (a collection of official documents of the US government).  Restrictive measures include Washington’s opposition to loans, financial or technical assistance to Russia by international financial institutions such as the World Bank or the International Monetary Fund, a ban on American banks from participating in the primary Russian sovereign debt non-ruble bond market and non-ruble loans to the Russian government, as well as restrictions  export of a number of goods and technologies.

In August last year, the US administration applied the first package of sanctions and imposed a ban on the supply of dual-use products to Russia, with a number of exceptions.  The legal basis for this was the American law on the control of chemical and biological weapons and the prohibition of their use of 1991.

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