With CAATSA, the U.S. is Trying to Make Russia Hurt

May 28, 2018 | 08:00 GMT

Russia's S-400 air defense system stands on display in Kubinka Park near Moscow.

Russia's S-400 air defense system stands on display in Kubinka Park near Moscow. Because Russia is the world's second-largest weapons exporter, just behind the United States, the new U.S. sanctions legislation targeting the Russian energy and defense industries will have far-reaching effects.



  • Middling powers in Europe, Asia and the Middle East will face increasing pressure from Washington on their ties with Russia because of the United States' new sanctions legislation.
  • Germany, Vietnam and Turkey are some of the major states most likely to defy U.S. pressure on their Russia relations.
  • In Asia, India may struggle to cope with the U.S. sanctions, while Indonesia could go either way.
  • Saudi Arabia, Qatar and the United Arab Emirates will find it easier to comply thanks to their limited links to Russia and deep defense relationships with Washington.
  • Measures such as the Countering America's Adversaries Through Sanctions Act will encourage U.S. partners to adopt a more multilateral strategy in an emerging world of great power competition.

Yesterday was Tehran and today it's Moscow. As the United States, Russia and China engage in a great power competition, growing tensions between Washington and Moscow could soon have a major effect on U.S. relations with other countries. Upset by the Kremlin's actions around the world, U.S. lawmakers are hoping to hit Russia where it hurts most, its defense and energy business, through the Countering America’s Adversaries Through Sanctions Act (CAATSA), which applies secondary sanctions to countries engaging in business with Moscow in these fields. CAATSA has faced some resistance -- not least from the commander in chief himself -- but its gradual implementation promises to have far-reaching effects on all concerned. ...

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