THE Trump administration said on Monday it would not immediately impose additional sanctions on Russia under a new law designed to punish Moscow’s alleged meddling in the 2016 U.S. election, insisting the measure was already hitting Russian companies.
The administration faced a deadline on Monday to impose sanctions on anyone determined to conduct significant business with Russian defense and intelligence sectors, already sanctioned for their alleged role in the election.
But citing long time frames associated with major defense deals, Nauert said it was too soon to tell how effective the law had been, so it was better to wait to impose those sanctions.
President Donald Trump’s administration also did not make public reports required by Monday under the bill he reluctantly signed into law on Aug. 2, just six months into his presidency.
The measure, known as the “Countering America’s Adversaries Through Sanctions Act,” or CAATSA, required the administration to list “oligarchs” close to President Vladimir Putin’s government and issue a report detailing possible consequences of penalizing Russia’s sovereign debt.
The administration said it would release at least some of that information to Congress, but it was not immediately clear whether it would be made public, or kept classified.
Trump, who said he wanted warmer ties with Russia, had opposed the legislation as it made its way through Congress last year. Monday’s deadline was seen as a test of his willingness to crack down on Russia.
Members of Congress, including Democrats and some of Trump’s fellow Republicans, have been clamoring for his administration to use sanctions to punish Moscow for past election interference and prevent future meddling in U.S. polls.