US Treasury Amends Sanctions on Russian Federal Security Service

The United States has issued a license permitting certain transactions with the Russian Federal Security Service (FSB), which has been sanctioned over alleged interference into the 2016 US presidential election, the US Department of the Treasury said on Thursday.

US President Barack Obama meets with President-elect Donald Trump to discuss transition plans in the White House Oval Office in Washington, US, November 10, 2016. - Sputnik International
Obama's Anti-Russia Sanctions Aimed to 'Make Sure Trump Won't Back Off Easily'
WASHINGTON (Sputnik) — On December 30, then-US President Barack Obama announced new sanctions against several Russian organizations, including the FSB, and individuals in retaliation for Moscow’s alleged hacking into US political institutions. Washington is expelling 35 Russian diplomats on spying charges and is closing down two Russian-owned compounds in the US.

Russian officials have repeatedly denied the US allegations of election interference, characterizing them as absurd and laughable nonsense. Moreover, they have said such allegations are intended to deflect US public attention from revelations of corruption and other pressing domestic concerns.

"GL 1 [license] authorizes certain transactions with the Federal Security Service (a.k.a. FSB) that are necessary and ordinarily incident to requesting certain licenses and authorizations for the importation, distribution, or use of certain information technology products in the Russian Federation," the guidance stated.

The Treasury specified that payments of any fees to the FSB for the received permits and licenses should not exceed $5,000 per year.

The license also authorizes transactions and activities that are necessary to complying with law enforcement actions or investigations involving the FSB. In addition, the Treasury has permitted abiding by rules and regulations issued by the Russian security agency.

When commenting on the move, the White House said that the US is not easing sanctions on Russia amid exceptions made for some transactions with the FSB, adding that there has been no shift in Washington's policy.

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