Trump administration relaxes U.S. sanctions on Russia imposed under Obama


*The Trump administration appeared to loosen U.S. sanctions Thursday that the Obama administration had imposed against Russia in response to its cyberattacks in the 2016 presidential election.

The Treasury Department published a license that authorizes certain transactions between U.S. companies and the FSB, Russia’s security service and for the importation, distribution or use of “certain information technology products in the Russian Federation.” Such transactions had been prohibited under Obama administration sanctions imposed on Russia in late December. At the time, the U.S. sanctioned nine entities and individuals including the FSB and GRU. The Obama administration said that the FSB had assisted and provided material support to the GRU in its efforts to interfere with the U.S. election.

White House press secretary Sean Spicer was asked at his daily press briefing about why the U.S. is easing sanctions against Russia, but he said that the move is a “fairly common practice” in which the Treasury Department looks for “specific carve-outs” for certain industries after sanctions are put in place. He said it’s a “regular course of action that Treasury does quite often.”

A recent story from The Moscow Times said RBC newspaper warned that the sanctions could affect the importation of electronics to Russia. The report said it would affect devices with an encryption feature including cell phones and tablets.

A senior Treasury official said Thursday that the license allows very limited interaction with the FSB in coordinating exports to Russia of cell phones and tablets with low-level encryption software like consumer devices and consumer software. The official said that it took the department until now to make the exception because officials needed time to engage with the private sector.

The Trump administration’s move on Thursday comes after the president spoke to Russian President Vladimir Putin on Saturday by phone. On Friday, Mr. Trump said it was still “too early” to consider lifting sanctions on Russia. Last month, Mr. Trump was briefed by then-Director of National Intelligence James Clapper, CIA Director John Brennan, NSA Director Admiral Mike Rogers and FBI Director James Comey. After the briefing, the president seemed to accept the fact that Russia had interfered with the election, but said that the cyberattacks “no effect on the outcome of the election.”

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Kentucky, told Politico last week that he is “against lifting any sanctions on the Russians.”

“These sanctions were imposed because of their behavior in Crimea, eastern Ukraine and now we know they’ve been messing around in our elections as well,” he said, according to the report.*


McConnell is right. Now Trump is just kissing up to Russia even as they renew their efforts to take over Ukraine.

Way to go people…you put a Russian puppet in the white House.



We’ll see what happens. Does anybody really think Russians can’t get American low-level tech anytime they want from Walmart or Verizon?


I’ll give the administration a pass on this one. This kind of OFAC tinkering is not really a relaxation in sanctions. If real sanctions relief happens, that will be different and disturbing.


Trump as someone’s puppet? Biggest joke I ever heard.


Good. The sanctions were utterly ineffectual and bans on encryption exports are always idiotic. The technology for high quality encryption is freely available; Russia loses nothing, but US companies lose the business.


What would be so bad about that? What have the sanctions done, other than push Russia into a closer relationship with China? They still have Crimea and still are in Donbass, despite years of sanctions.


I think that a strategy of appeasement toward an aggressive tyrant is a bad policy.


I agree with you.


I don’t consider Putin or Russia an ‘aggressive tyrant’, in fact it has been NATO and the west who have been aggressing, not the other way around as the corrupt main stream media try to tell the public.

Russia is not our enemy, Putin himself is Christian, the soviet union collapsed in 1991 and Leningrad was returned to St Petersberg.

I would like to see a relationship between the US and Russia and together they can work to overcome ISIS and other threats around the world.

I hope this has helped

God Bless

Thank you for reading


I note that none you supporters bothers to note that Putin’s Russia has now renewed the effort to take Ukraine by force or that they still maintain their hold on Crimea. So, I’m sure his removing these sanctions and talking about going further still will also get a pass from those who choose to turn a blind eye.

Meanwhile the Ukrainians are just just out of luck I guess.

Great moral stand there guys…how would you feel if our national positions were reversed?.


What about the Ukrainians?


I know. First Trump is an egomaniac, now he’s a puppet, I wish they’d get their fake story straight! :wink:


I too would like to see that. Maybe we can work with Putin on radical terrorism, once he has conquered enough Europe.


This guilt thing reallly doesn’t work win you support the pro-death party. :confused:


The same question was asked when Barack Obama was president.

Now it appears to be pro-Russian Ukrainian vs. anti-Russian Ukrainian.

It’s as much as a civil war as anything else.


Something like isn’t appeasement.

If the American and Western left is serious about negotiating instead of going to war, then these are kinds of maneuvers they’ll have to live with.


What has Putin apparently ‘conquered’ in Europe?

God Bless

Thank you for reading


Russia has held Crimea for years and has been in Donbass for years and has been sanctioned the whole time. So my question remains: what are the sanctions accomplishing, and why is it so bad to relax them?


Russia is clearly the aggressor. Polls show there was very little support in Crimea for joining Russia until Russian soldiers arrived to intimidate the populace and manipulate the votes. But that does not mean the US should trigger a great power war out of what is essentially a limited regional conflict with no crucial US interests at stake.

The real lesson here is simple: never give up your nukes and never expect other nations to help you fight a war when it is not in their interests. Ukraine is learning it the hard way.

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