U.S. Investors in Russia Say New Sanctions from Washington Would Hurt U.S. Citizens

New U.S. sanctions against Russian government debt, if introduced, will bring damage to U.S. investors first, Alexis Rodzianko, head of the American Chamber of Commerce in Russia (AmCham), has told RIA Novosti.

This week, the U.S. House of Representatives adopted an amendment to the defense budget for 2020, proposed by the Democrats, which is banning U.S. citizens from conducting any operations with Russia’s state debt in the event of Russia’s meddling in the upcoming U.S. presidential election. The amendment has yet to be reviewed by a conciliation committee, where it must be agreed upon by representatives of the Republican Party, which is preparing its own version of the defense budget.

“First of all, I believe it is unlikely to become law, because the draft has to be passed in the upper chamber, and this amendment has not been submitted to the upper chamber,” Rodzianko said. “The law should be approved in order to be submitted for signing, which means that the upper chamber has to agree to introduce this amendment in its own version or reject the amendment in the version that the lower chamber proposed. It also has to be signed by the president.”

“The second thing is that the amendment itself is conditional. Sanctions will be introduced if election meddling take place. Sanctions will not be introduced directly even if the president signs the law,” Rodzianko added.

“These sanctions will primarily hit U.S. investors who are major holders of these securities. This is not the most desirable result,” Rodzianko specified.

The United States has repeatedly accused Russia of election meddling, with Moscow refuting the charges as groundless.