WASHINGTON, November 8 (RIA Novosti) — The Unites States is expanding its restrictive measures against Russia within the framework of the sectoral sanctions regime, former director of the Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) at the US Treasury Richard Newcomb says.
"The architecture of this program [the Special Sectoral Sanctions] is still developing, unfolding, and expanding," Newcomb said Friday during a panel discussion at the annual national security law conference in Washington, DC.
According to Newcomb, there are currently no discussions among US leadership about repealing sanctions against Russia, but it is "fairly easy" for the government to undo a sanctions program, if it were imposed through executive action.
If sanctions are statutory and have been authorized by Congress, in many cases an act of Congress is required to repeal them. "[It] requires much more to exit," Newcomb stressed.
Many of the sanctions imposed by the United States against Russia over its alleged involvement in the Ukrainian crisis were enacted through executive order and do not require Congressional authorization to repeal, according to OFAC.
The initial round of sanctions passed on April 1 targeting individuals and their assets was imposed through an act of Congress and by law, that program requires prior congressional notification before it can be removed.
The US Senate and House of Representatives currently have multiple bills in front of them to authorize statutory sanctions against Russia.
Moscow has repeatedly stressed that sanctions are counterproductive and hurt both the target country and those using the measure.