President Donald Trump announced yesterday that his administration will be extending the sanctions imposed against Russia and Russian individuals by another year. This follows the previous sanctions brought in by President Obama in March 2014, in response to the political crisis in Ukraine.
In a letter required under the National Emergencies Act, Trump notified Congress that the White House will continue treating the situation in Ukraine as “an unusual and extraordinary threat to the national security and foreign policy of the United States,” as defined by Obama’s Executive Order 13660.
This move comes days after Putin unveiled his new generation of Russian intercontinental ballistic missiles, launching a renewed concern over Russian nuclear power. Putin has denied claims that he is launching a 21st century ‘arms race’ by unveiling Russia’s new nuclear deterrent. Putin then said that this demonstration was neither a threat nor a bluff, but another attempt to persuade western nations to solve contradictions through talks rather than resorting to military force.
Head of the Upper House Foreign Relations Committee Konstantin Kosachev has expressed hope that the international community will listen attentively to Putin’s latest statements and eventually find some “windows of opportunities,” because collective effort is the only way to tackle common threats.
Relations between Washington and Moscow further deteriorated in 2016, when the Obama administration accused Russia of interfering in the US presidential elections and expelled a number of Russian diplomats. Moscow has denied all allegations.