U.S. Threat of Russian Sectoral Sanctions Likely to Center on Defense, Financial Firms

By Brian Monroe

Threatened U.S. sanctions against large swathes of Russian businesses would likely target defense and financial firms ahead of energy companies if imposed, according to experts. In a March 20 executive order, President Barack Obama granted the U.S. Treasury Secretary the power to blacklist entire lines of the Russian Federation's economy, including businesses involved in financial services, energy, metals and mining, engineering and defense. American officials have since publicly suggested that the power would be used if Russia disrupts a planned May 25 Ukrainian election. While the Treasury Department will likely use its powers under the executive order, sanctions against Russia's...