While Trump and Putin may, or may not, be planning a long overdue summit between the US and Russia – as a reference, presidents George W. Bush and Barack Obama each held summits with Putin within six months of taking office; meanwhile 16 months into his tenure, Trump has yet to do the same – today Russian President Vladimir Putin signed a law stipulating implementation of counter-sanctions against the US and its allies.
According to the Russian media, the legislation will be applied to any state or person for “hostile actions” against Russia, and allows Russian authorities to cut international cooperation with foreign states and impose import and export restrictions among other countermeasures. Trade embargos will not extended to certain goods, however, that are imported by Russian citizens for personal use.
As RT adds, the bill which is aimed at defending “economic interests and security” was drafted by State Duma Speaker Vyacheslav Volodin and the heads of all four parliamentary caucuses in mid-April. It was approved by Russian lawmakers by the end of May. The move came in retaliation to Washington’s economic penalties against Moscow.
However, contrary to domestic concerns, the countersanctions do not apply to imported essential items, for which no replacements are produced in Russia or other countries, although in case of escalating trade wars, those are precisely the products which trading partners will limit their exports.
As a reminder, in early April, the US Treasury included 24 Russians, including high-profile politicians, and 14 corporations on a sanctions list relating to alleged “malign activity around the globe.” The move has been repeatedly condemned by Russian authorities, with Moscow immediately promising to retaliate. It is unclear if by signing today’s law, Russia will next proceed to respond in kind to the US action.
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