The sanctions target Russia's defense, intelligence, mining, shipping and railway industries and restricts dealings with Russian banks and energy companies. The bill also stressed that the United States would continue to oppose the construction of the Nord Stream 2 natural gas pipeline. The law also limits the US president's ability to ease any sanctions on Russia by requiring Congressional approval to lift any restrictions.
"So far, the signing of the sanctions into law has not affected our work and the work of business in any way. All those sanctions that were legal already existed and to date, nothing has changed much," Rodzianko said.
The AmCham head stressed that the real question was related to the future development of the situation.
"The question is how things will develop in the future, considering the fact that in the United States these sanctions now have the force of law, while in Europe they do not. It is difficult to amend laws in the United States, while in Europe, in fact, an administrative act is sufficient to allow a change in the sanctions regime," Rodzianko said.
He added that attempts to oust Russia from Europe's energy market had failed in 1970s and said they would also fail now.
Earlier, the Russian Foreign Ministry described the new sanctions as "absolutely illegitimate" and responded with its countermeasures, suspending the use of all US Embassy warehouses and its compound in Moscow. Russia also mandated that the US cut the size of its diplomatic staff in Russia by 755 people by September 1.