White House’s New Sanctions Coordinator Can Impact Russia

Washington has revived the Office of Sanctions Coordination, a position created by Obama in the State Department. US President Joe Biden nominated James O’Brien to the position of US Sanctions Policy Coordinator.

This department is of particular importance to Russia since it will be in charge of all aspects of the creation and coordination of the White House’s blacklists. Presidents Barack Obama and Bill Clinton both had O’Brien on their teams. He does not have a reputation as a Kremlin critic, according to Nezavisimaya Gazeta.

Rather than an official with his own political stance, O’Brien is a highly qualified performer with expertise in behind-the-scenes talks, according to the publication.

It may potentially work against his candidacy throughout the Senate confirmation process. O’Brien is not well-known and does not have a government position. He was most recently employed by a major consulting firm.

Yuri Rogulev, director of the Franklin D. Roosevelt Foundation for United States Studies at Moscow State University, told Nezavisimaya Gazeta that despite the present hardline conflict between Republicans and Democrats, who have an equivalent senate vote, problems with approving a nominee to any post, even a minor one, are very likely.

“Facilitator for sanctioning policy is simply a position that might create a dispute out of nowhere,” he said.

“When it comes to the American power structure, the President, his National Security Adviser, and the Secretary of State decide on foreign policy. All three of these individuals are now on the same squad… O’Brien is unlikely to play such a significant role” Rogulev made a remark.