WASHINGTON (Sputnik) — Last week, the US Treasury 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 Treasury specified that payments of any fees to the FSB for the received permits and licenses should not exceed $5,000 per year.
The White House commented on the move and said that the United States is not easing sanctions against Russia.
"GL 1 [General License] only authorizes certain transactions with the FSB acting in its administrative and law enforcement capacities," the update stated.
"The GL was issued in order to ensure that US persons engaging in certain business activities in Russia that are not otherwise prohibited are not unduly impacted."
The Treasury Department explained that all other transactions involving any property within the US jurisdiction or within the possession or control of US citizens in which the FSB has an interest are not be authorized. The General License prohibits the export of any hardware or software or services directly or indirectly to the FSB or any other sanctioned person or entity, the update added.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.