• The Future of Russia Sanctions: It’s Getting Murkier and Murkier
  • March 30, 2017 | Authors: Laura E. Jehl; Fatema K. Merchant
  • Law Firm: Sheppard, Mullin, Richter & Hampton LLP - Washington Office
  • Throughout the course of the U.S. presidential campaign and especially in the transition period, President Donald Trump praised Russia’s President Vladimir Putin and indicated his desire for the U.S. to have a warmer relationship with our former cold-war adversary. Now, Trump has suggested that he’s open to rolling back two sets of sanctions against Russia imposed by the Obama administration. First, Trump reportedly stated that he was open to lifting the sanctions President Obama imposed in December 2016 in response to a series of Russian cyberattacks against the Democratic National Committee (DNC), Clinton campaign advisor John Podesta and state voter registration databases, all aimed at disrupting the 2016 U.S. Presidential election if Russia partnered with the U.S. to defeat Islamic State Group. ‘‘If you get along and if Russia is really helping us, why would anybody have sanctions if somebody’s doing some really great things?,’’ Trump said. Then, in a joint interview with reporters from the U.K.’s The Times of London and Germany’s The Bild, Trump suggested that he may lift earlier sanctions imposed in response to the Russian occupation of parts Ukraine in exchange for a reduction in nuclear weapons. ‘‘They have sanctions on Russia—let’s see if we can make some good deals with Russia,’’ Trump said.