The US Department of Commerce has included the Russian Research Institute of Molecular Electronics in the Sanction List as an organization whose activities do not meet the interests of the national security and foreign policy of the United States.
Officially, the document of the US department will be published on September 4. Inclusion in the list provides for the prohibition of trade operations of American persons and companies with this organization. In addition to the Russian company, there were also 14 legal entities from China, Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, Turkey, the United Arab Emirates and Great Britain. Some of them came under sanctions because of non-compliance with restrictions on Iran.
It is noted that “NIIME” was included in the list, since it “de facto works as a branch” of the company “Mikron” already under the sanctions of the Ministry of Trade.
According to the website of JSC “NIIME”, this is the leading research center of the “NIIME Group” in the holding of JSC “RTI” (AFK Sistema). The enterprises of the NIIME Group form the largest in Russia complex for scientific and technological research in the field of micro and nanoelectronics, the development and production of semiconductor products. Currently, more than 400 high-skilled developers are working at NIIME.
In September 2016, the US Department of Commerce contributed more than 80 companies from Russia to the sanctions list in connection with the events in the Crimea and Ukraine, including such companies in the electronics sector as Angstrem and Mikron. These companies are listed on the grounds that they are connected with the Russian defense industry. Restrictions concern export, re-export and transfer of materials and technologies. US sanctions in the field of radio electronics have been working against Russia for several years.
“Too big for sanctions.” Why the United States does not succeed in “punishing Russia”
The sanctions imposed on Monday will have a limited impact on the Russian economy, the international rating agency Moody’s reported. Fitch analysts agree with this assessment, which confirmed August 17 Russia’s rating at the “investment” level with a positive outlook. At the same time, there is growing dissatisfaction with anti-Russian measures in Europe and the US itself. What Western experts think about the prospects for sanctions pressure on Moscow – in the material of RIA Novosti.
New restrictions by Washington provide for a ban on the supply of dual-use products to Russia, electronics and technology for the oil and gas industry.
“The export flow will decrease by hundreds of millions of dollars, but this is not so much for the total volume of Russian-American trade, which in 2017 amounted to 12.6 billion dollars,” Moody’s analysts state.
And note that the next bans are imposed on the sanctions introduced under Barack Obama: because of them, in recent years, the trade turnover between the two countries has noticeably decreased.
“As a result, the credit impact of the recently imposed sanctions on financing the Russian government or the Russian economy is likely to be limited,” Moody’s said.
According to the agency, Russia will fall under the second round of sanctions because of the “Fiddles’ Affair”, and under the bans that are now being prepared in the Congress. However, even in this case, the final negative effect will be unprincipled for the Russian economy: this will not cause a system-wide banking crisis, although obstacles to credit development may arise.
“The strengths of Russia’s credit policy – the budget and external financing – will help the government to respond to more serious sanctions, but strict and broad sanctions are likely to negatively affect the banking system and growth, especially through investment,” the report said.
In particular, as analysts explain, the Bank of Russia may start raising the key rate due to the risk of an increase in inflation, which will lead to a rise in the price of all loans.
“Stricter sanctions increase the risk that Russia’s medium-term growth will be constrained by structural factors such as chronic investment shortages and dependence on the oil and gas sector,” the analysts conclude.
Two weeks ago, on August 17, another international rating agency Fitch retained Russia’s sovereign rating at the “investment” level of “BBB-“. They noted “a strong balance of payments and a sound macroeconomic policy.”
Analysts of the agency stressed that the Russian economy coped well with the round of sanctions announced by Washington in April. In connection with the new restrictions, the risks for “the flexibility of sovereign financing, private sector access to international financing, and macroeconomic fluctuations” were noted.
Nevertheless, Fitch has set a positive outlook for the country’s rating. This means that the agency is confident in the ability of the Russian economy to cope successfully with the consequences of sanctions.
The attitude to the sanctions policy is changing in the US itself. So, the most influential The Washington Post unexpectedly published a long article, which calls Russia “too big for sanctions” and says that the sanction war is too costly for Western companies.
Probably the main reason for the change in mood in Washington is the results of the Gallup poll in August, during which 58 percent of respondents said that relations with Russia should be improved.
Only 36 percent of Americans spoke for new diplomatic and economic restrictions. Accordingly, the tone in the media began to change.
“Compared to other countries under US sanctions, including Iran, Cuba, Myanmar and North Korea, Russia plays a much greater role in world trade, so sanctions against it cause more damage to” accidental witnesses “in the United States and Europe,” – emphasizes The Washington Post.
As an example, the publication gives sanctions against the company “Rusal”, introduced by the White House on April 6. “Rusal” – a major supplier of alumina, raw materials for aluminum production, so world prices for alumina also soared, “the newspaper recalls. – The US allies, including Germany, Ireland, France and Britain, warned the State Department that sanctions are damaging to European plants that cooperate with Rusal. Ireland expressed concern about the alumina plant owned by RusAl, employing 470 people. “
“Obviously, in response to these concerns, the Treasury softened its position 17 days later, giving banks and companies more time to close their deals with Rusal and stating that they are ready to consider the possibility of lifting sanctions against Rusal under certain conditions,” he said. Washington Post.
David Witter, a Louisiana senator, says the newspaper recently sent a warning to the US Justice Department that “refusal to lift sanctions against Rusal will put the Trump administration under fire for criticism of the damage to producers and consumers in the United States and cause considerable upheaval world markets of aluminum and metals. “
Beat on friends
In connection with the new round of American measures against Moscow, The Washington Post cites the opinion of Jacob Kierkegaard, a senior fellow at the Peterson Institute for International Economics in Washington: sanctions related to participation in Russian energy projects “can be particularly painful for European companies.”
As if in response to this, Foreign Minister of Germany Haiko Maas said on Sunday that Europe must resist US sanctions decisions.
“Washington is forcing us to formulate European responses in relation to sanctions policy,” said the Maas, “this applies to Europe and Germany, if the United States suddenly uncoordinated and quite non-specifically introduces sanctions against Russia, China, Turkey, and in the future, perhaps against our other we need to react to this. “
The growing discontent with anti-Russian sanctions both in Europe and in the US dramatically increases the chances that Washington will soften the policy towards Moscow. Otherwise, Europe will simply ignore these restrictions, as it has already done with sanctions against Iran.