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Obama Authorizes New Illegal Sanctions on Russia

By Stephen Lendman

Imposition of sanctions is illegal without Security Council authorization. Countries imposing them unilaterally or complicit with other nations do so illegitimately.

Multiple rounds of US and EU sanctions on Russia have no legal standing. On December 20, a Treasury Department press release announced new ones on “seven individuals and eight entities under two Executive Orders…related to Russia and Ukraine, and identified two vessels as blocked property.”

The Treasury falsely accused Russia of occupying Crimea and continuing aggression in Ukraine, lied about US meeting its obligations under Minsk agreements, and absurdly claimed it acted to support Ukraine’s sovereignty and territorial integrity.

Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergey Ryabkov said Moscow will respond asymmetrically at a time and way of its choosing. It has no idea what “next hostile moves” may be coming before Obama leaves office.

“There has been no logic in (his) behavior for a long time, and we(‘re) accustomed to this generally speaking.”

“I won’t be surprised if on January 20, the day of inauguration of the next US president…we will once again see behind some curtain, in the corner those who continuously produce this kind of decisions once again inventing certain rescripts, decisions, pushing into an abyss relations with Russia that are already in tatters due to Washington’s irresponsible and senseless policy,” Ryabkov added.

Trump’s choice for Secretary of State Rex Tillerson opposes sanctions on Russia. Once inaugurated, will the new administration lift them, either gradually or all together.

They’re illegal, hostile and inimical to normalized relations Trump suggested he’ll pursue once in office.

Obama vowed to respond overtly and covertly to nonexistent Russian US election hacking, with no further elaboration.

Were newly imposed sanctions part of what he has in mind?