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Sanctions – decision expected today


Late on Monday night, the French President’s office reported that the heads of state and government of the US, France, UK, Germany and Italy “confirmed… their intention to adopt new measures against Russia.” According to an unnamed source cited by Bloomberg, the new additions to the EU sanctions list might be unveiled ‘late’ on Wednesday 30 July. In addition to this, the Deputy National Security Advisor to the US President, Tony Blinken, has been quoted by Bloomberg as indicating the possibility of “further action against Russia”, once the EU makes its next move.

In separate news, the New York Times, without reference to its sources, reports this morning that the US has concluded that Russia has conducted tests of a new land-based cruise missile system, which violates the bilateral 1987 Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces (INF) Treaty (the NYT story is here; 1987 INF Treaty summary is here). According to the article, President Barack Obama conveyed the finding and the US objections to President Vladimir Putin in a letter on Monday.

The tangible escalation in the push towards sanctions and other hostile rhetoric over the weekend and further on Monday is quite surprising in light of the rapid advance by Ukrainian government troops in eastern Ukraine last week. Given Blinken’s indication that the US might pursue additional sanctions in the near future, it is too early to argue that the next ‘sanctions plateau’ (i.e. period of relative sanctions stability) is in sight yet.
Alexey Zabotkin
VTB Capital analyst

USA, Russia, EU

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