OFFICE OF THE SPOKESPERSON
MARCH 2, 2021
CHEMICAL AND BIOLOGICAL WEAPONS ACT SANCTIONS
Today, the Secretary of State determined that the Government of the Russian Federation has used a chemical weapon against its own nationals, in violation of the Chemical Weapons Convention. As a result, the following sanctions will be imposed (full or partial waivers are noted below) after the 15-day Congressional notification period:
- Foreign Assistance:Termination of assistance to Russia under the Foreign Assistance Act of 1961, except for urgent humanitarian assistance and food or other agricultural commodities or products.
- Arms Sales:Termination of (a) sales to Russia under the Arms Export Control Act of any defense articles, or defense services, and (b) licenses or other approvals for the export to Russia of any item on the United States Munitions List, except in support of commercial space cooperation following a six-month transition period, and government space cooperation.
- Arms Sales Financing:Termination of all foreign military financing for Russia under the Arms Export Control Act.
- Denial of United States Government Credit or Other Financial Assistance:Denial to Russia of any credit, credit guarantees, or other financial assistance by any department, agency, or instrumentality of the United States Government, including the Export-Import Bank of the United States.
- Exports of National Security-Sensitive Goods and Technology:Prohibition on the export to Russia of any goods or technology on that part of the control list established under Section 2404(c)(1) of the Appendix to Title 50.
Duration and Conditions for Removal
The sanctions will take effect following the publication of a Federal Register notice and they will remain in place for a minimum of 12 months. The sanctions can only be removed after this 12-month period if the Executive Branch determines and certifies to Congress that the Russian government has met several conditions described in the CBW Act (22 U.S.C. 5605(c)), including (1) providing reliable assurances that it will not use chemical or biological weapons in violation of international law and will not use lethal chemical or biological weapons against its own nationals; (2) it is not making preparations to use chemical weapons in violation of international law or to use lethal chemical or biological weapons against its own nationals; (3) that it is willing to allow on-site inspections by United Nations observers or other internationally recognized, impartial observers to verify that it is not making preparations to use chemical or biological weapons in violation of international law or to use lethal chemical or biological weapons against its own nationals, or other reliable means exist to verify that it is not making such preparations; and (4) that it is making restitution to those affected by any use of chemical or biological weapons in violation of international law or by any use of lethal chemical or biological weapons against its own nationals.
The United States government has determined that it is essential to U.S. national security interests to waive certain restrictions on foreign assistance and exports.
Foreign Assistance: The restriction will continue to be waived in all respects.
Export Restrictions: Some of the waivers to restrictions on arms sales and Commerce-controlled exports of national security-sensitive (NS) items that were implemented as part of sanctions imposed in August 2018 in response to the Skripal attack will continue, including:
— Export license exceptions: Temporary Imports, Exports, and Reexports (TMP); Governments, International Organizations, and International Inspections under the Chemical Weapons Convention (GOV); Baggage (BAG); Aircraft and Vessels (AVS); or Encryption Commodities and Software (ENC).
— Exports needed to ensure the safe operation of commercial passenger aviation;
— Exports to wholly-owned subsidiaries of U.S. and other foreign companies in Russia;
— Deemed export licenses for Russian nationals working in the United States; and
— Exports in support of government space cooperation.
License applications subject to these waivers will continue to be reviewed on a case-by-case basis. However, several existing export-related waivers will be removed. These include:
— The waivers for license exceptions Service and Replacement of Parts and Equipment (RPL), Technology and Software Unrestricted (TSU), and Additional Permissive Reexports (APR) will be removed. Exporters will no longer be able to use these exceptions for exports and reexports of NS items to Russia.
— The waiver for exports and reexports of NS items to commercial end-users in Russia for civil end-uses will be removed. Applications for such exports will now be reviewed under a “presumption of denial” policy.
— The waivers for exports of U.S. Munitions List items and NS items in support of commercial space flight activities in Russia will be removed following a six-month transition period, after which such exports will be subject to a license review policy of a presumption of denial.
For additional information on the export restrictions, please visit the websites of the State Department’s Directorate of Defense Trade Controls (DDTC) and Department of Commerce’s Bureau of Industry and Security (BIS).
COUNTERING AMERICA’S ADVERSARIES THROUGH SANCTIONS ACT (CAATSA) SECTION 231 LIST OF SPECIFIED PERSONS ADDITIONS:
Today, the Department of State added six entities to the Countering America’s Adversaries Through Sanctions Act (CAATSA) Section 231 List of Specified Persons as persons that are part of, or operate for or on behalf of, the defense or intelligence sectors of the Government of the Russian Federation. Henceforth, any person who knowingly engages in a significant transaction with any of the persons will be subject to mandatory sanctions. We are taking this step due to the malign activities in which Russia’s defense sector engages – especially with respect to its chemical weapons program – and the revenue, access, and influence that transactions with its defense sector provide the Russian government. The entities added are the following.
- 27th Scientific Center;
- 48 Central Scientific Research Institute Sergiev Posad (also known as [aka] 48 TsNII Sergiev Posad; aka 48th Central Research Institute, Sergiev Posad);
- 48 Central Scientific Research Institute Kirov (aka 48th Central Research Institute Kirov; aka 48th TsNII);
- 48 Central Scientific Research Institute Yekaterinburg (aka 48th TsNII Yekaterinburg);
- State Scientific Research Institute of Organic Chemistry and Technology (aka GoSNIIOKhT);
- 33rd Scientific Research and Testing Institute (aka 33rd TsNIII).
E.O. 13382 SANCTIONS
Today, the Department of State designated the FSB, GosNIIOKhT, the 33rd TsNIII, the 27th Scientific Center, the GRU, and GRU officers Alexander Yevgeniyevich Mishkin and Anatoliy Vladimirovich Chepiga pursuant to Section 1(a)(ii) of E.O. 13382 (“Blocking Property of Weapons of Mass Destruction Proliferators and Their Supporters ”) for having engaged, or attempted to engage, in activities or transactions that have materially contributed to, or pose a risk of materially contributing to, the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction or their means of delivery (including missiles capable of delivering such weapons), including any efforts to manufacture, acquire, possess, develop, transport, transfer or use such items, by Russia. The Department of the Treasury also designated Alexander Vasilievich Bortnikov, the Director of the FSB, under E.O. 13382.
The FSB was involved in the August 2020 poisoning of Aleksey Navalny with a chemical weapon, specifically a nerve agent known as “Novichok.” The FSB is being designated for its role in the Navalny poisoning and for possessing a Novichok chemical weapon.
The Main Intelligence Directorate (GRU), GRU officer Alexander Yevgeniyevich Mishkin, and GRU officer Anatoliy Vladimirovich Chepiga have engaged in activities that materially contribute to the possession, transport, and use of WMD by Russia, namely the chemical weapon Novichok. Mishkin and Chepiga conducted a poisoning using a Novichok nerve agent in the United Kingdom in 2018.
The 33rd TsNIII, GosNIIOKhT, and the 27th Scientific Center have engaged in activities to develop Russia’s chemical weapons capabilities, including technologies for delivering such weapons. GosNIIOKhT is a Russian institute with a longstanding role in researching and developing chemical weapons, and GosNIIOKhT developed Russia’s Novichok chemical weapons. Since 2016, GosNIIOKhT has expanded its research, development, testing, and evaluation capabilities. 33rd TsNIII and the 27th Scientific Center are organizations subordinate to the Russian Federation Armed Forces Chemical, Biological, and Radiological Defense troops. 33rd TsNIII stewards Russia’s Shikhany Chemical Proving Ground, where Russia conducts chemical weapons-related testing. The 27th Scientific Center has been involved with Russian chemical weapons research and testing activities.
E.O. 13661 SANCTIONS
Additionally, today, the Department of the Treasury is designating seven Russian officials pursuant to E.O. 13661 (“Blocking Property of Additional Persons Contributing to the Situation in Ukraine”) as a part of the response to the Navalny poisoning and imprisonment. The seven individuals are Pavel Anatolievich Popov, Aleksei Yurievich Krivoruchko, Sergei Vladilenovich Kiriyenko, Andrei Veniaminovich Yarin, Alexander Vasilievich Bortnikov, Igor Victorovich Krasnov and Alexander Petrovich Kalashnikov.
Popov is the Deputy Minister in the Ministry of Defense of the Russian Federation with overall responsibility for research activities. This includes the oversight and development of the Ministry’s scientific and technical capabilities, including the development of potential and modernization of existing weapons and military equipment.
Krivoruchko is the Deputy Minister in the Ministry of Defense of the Russian Federation with the overall responsibility for armaments. This includes the oversight of the Ministry’s stocks of weapons and military equipment. He is also responsible for their elimination within the framework of the implementation of international treaties assigned to the Ministry of Defense.
Kiriyenko is First Deputy Chief of Staff of the Presidential Executive Office of the Russian Federation. In this function, he is responsible for domestic affairs, including political groups and activities.
Yarin is First Deputy Chief of Staff of the Presidential Executive Office of the Russian Federation. In this function, he is in charge of designing and implementing internal political orientations. He was also appointed to a task force whose role was to counter Navalny’s influence in Russian society including through operations meant to discredit him.
Bortnikov, as noted above, is the Director of the FSB, and is being concurrently designated pursuant to E.O. 13382 and E.O. 13661 for his role in the poisoning of Navalny.
Krasnov is the Prosecutor General for the Russian Federation, which has prosecuted Navalny and advocated for his incarceration.
Kalashnikov is the Director of the Federal Penitentiary Service in Russia, or FSIN. Navalny was accused of violating the terms of his parole while he was recovering from the poisoning in Germany, which FSIN used as a pretext to seek his arrest and request his suspended sentence be converted into an actual prison term.