The Department of State is committed to fully implementing sanctions authorities in the Countering America’s Adversaries Through Sanctions Act (CAATSA or the Act). We continue to call on Russia to honor its commitments to the Minsk agreement and to cease its malicious cyber intrusions.
Section 232 sanctions are discretionary. In accordance with Sections 212 and 232 of the Act, the Secretary of State, in consultation with the Secretary of the Treasury, will coordinate with allies of the United States in imposing these sanctions. The intent of such sanctions would be to impose costs on Russia for its malign behavior, such as in response to aggressive actions against the United States and our allies and partners.
Any implementation of Section 232 sanctions would seek to avoid harming the energy security of our partners or endangering public health and safety. Consistent with the Act (Section 257), it remains the policy of the United States to “work with European Union Member States and European institutions to promote energy security through developing diversified and liberalized energy markets that provide diversified sources, suppliers, and routes.”
For the purposes of Section 232, the focus of implementation would be on energy export pipelines that (1) originate in the Russian Federation, and (2) transport hydrocarbons across an international land or maritime border for delivery to another country. Pipelines that originate outside the Russian Federation and transit through the territory of the Russian Federation would not be the focus of implementation.
The focus of implementation of Section 232 sanctions would be on persons that the Secretary of State, in consultation with the Secretary of the Treasury, determines knowingly, on or after August 2, 2017 (1) made an investment that meets the fair market value thresholds in Section 232(a) and directly and significantly enhances the ability of the Russian Federation to construct energy export pipeline projects initiated on or after August 2, 2017, or (2) sells, leases, or provides to the Russian Federation goods or services that meet the fair market value thresholds in Section 232(a) and that directly and significantly facilitate the expansion, construction, or modernization of such energy export pipelines by the Russian Federation.
For the purposes of Section 232, a project is considered to have been initiated when a contract for the project is signed.
Investments and loan agreements made prior to August 2, 2017 would not be subject to Section 232 sanctions.
Implementation of Section 232 sanctions would not target investments or other activities related to the standard repair and maintenance of pipelines in existence on, and capable of transporting commercial quantities of hydrocarbons, as of August 2, 2017.