On Monday, Russian President Vladimir Putin signed into law counter-sanctions legislation that is designed to affect countries that imposed sanctions against Russia. The move in Moscow comes as a tit-for-tat response to the expansion of restrictive measures against Russian companies, tycoons and government officials.
“Since the 90’s, the U.S. has been living in a world, in which there is the United States and other countries that are subordinate to it,” Dmitri Zhuravlev, director of the Moscow-based Institute of Regional Problems, said during an interview with Radio Sputnik.
“Our counter-sanctions will finally make them notice that they are not alone in the world.”
The counter-sanctions bill went through three readings in the Russian State Duma, or its lower house of parliament, which was supposed to be a “harsh response” promised by Russia following the last round of U.S. economic sanctions imposed on Russian oligarchs and financial markets.
"The federal law is aimed at protecting the interests and safety of Russia, its sovereignty and territorial integrity, as well as the rights and freedoms of Russian citizens, from unfriendly actions by the U.S. and other states, which may take the form of political and economic sanctions on Russia, Russian citizens and legal entities, as well as from other actions posing a threat to Russia’s territorial integrity and aimed at destabilizing the economic and political situation in the country," reads the document initiated by a group of lawmakers led by State Duma Speaker Vyacheslav Volodin.
The counter-sanctions can be imposed not just on states but also on organizations, officials and citizens of the countries deemed to be hostile to Russia. In particular, the document reads that such companies will not be allowed to participate in contracts for state purchases and in the privatization of Russian state property.
Although the new law gives the Kremlin broad authority to ban goods from the U.S. and other states, vital goods – especially those that have no analogue – are exempt from the list.
Zhuravlev believes that Russia’s response can cause serious problems for Washington and its economy.
“For example, this applies to the supply of titanium. If tomorrow we introduce counter-sanctions, then they [Americans] will have specific underloads; as a result, they will have to reduce the production of aircraft,” he said.
Another sector where challenges can pop up for the U.S. is in the space industry, since the country is not equipped with its own launch vehicles.
“But, in my opinion, the biggest problem for Americans is that they suddenly find out: Sanctions can be used against them, too, and apply effectively,” he added.
Some experts believe that the adopted document aimed to impose counter-sanctions in response to unfriendly acts from the U.S. and other countries against Russia, takes on the role of a warning shot.
“If you tighten sanctions against Russia, you will receive an answer as well," said Deputy Director of Alpari's Analytical Department Natalia Milchakova.