Russia Fact Sheet

Fact Sheet
Bureau of Economic and Business Affairs
December 18, 2018


RUSSIAN AGGRESSION IN UKRAINE: The United States has two sanctions programs against Russia in response to its aggression against Ukraine. The first stems from Russia’s invasion, occupation, and attempted annexation of Crimea. As Secretary Pompeo stated in the Crimea Declaration of July 25, 2018: “Russia, through its 2014 invasion of Ukraine and its attempted annexation of Crimea, sought to undermine a bedrock international principle shared by democratic states: that no country can change the borders of another by force.”

The second set of sanctions originated with Russia’s aggression in eastern Ukraine and its failure to implement the Minsk agreements. Russia continues to support, lead, and train illegal armed formations and proxy authorities in eastern Ukraine creating one of the worst humanitarian crises in Europe in a generation.

  • There will be no relief of eastern Ukraine-related sanctions until Russia meets its commitments under the Minsk agreements and no relief from Crimea-related sanctions until Russia returns control of the Crimean peninsula to Ukraine.

ADDRESSING THE FULL SPECTRUM OF MALIGN BEHAVIOR: The United States is committed to holding the Russian government accountable for its destabilizing activities around the world, including its efforts to subvert Western democratic processes and institutions through cyber-attacks and disinformation, support for the Assad regime in Syria, flagrant violations of human rights, use of violence against opponents at home and abroad, and other malign behavior.

ATTEMPTS TO EVADE SANCTIONS: It is critical that all entities and individuals, including Russian persons, comply with U.S. sanctions to avoid exposure to sanctions or an enforcement action under U.S. law. For example, the re-imposition of U.S. sanctions that were lifted or waived in connection with the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action is only the beginning of the most aggressive sanctions campaign in history. Maximum pressure means maximum pressure and there will be zero tolerance for any effort to evade our sanctions.

ROOM FOR US-RUSSIAN COOPERATION: Even as we have imposed unprecedented costs for Russian aggression, we have been clear that the door to dialogue is open should Russia choose to take credible steps toward a constructive path. To date we’ve seen no change in behavior from the Russian government, and we will continue impose costs on Russia until it ceases its reckless behavior. The Russian government needs to understand is that there will be significant consequences to its malign activities.

TRANSATLANTIC UNITY: We remain steadfast in our partnership with Ukraine, the European Union and other like-minded partners in our unified opposition to Russia’s range of malign behavior.

  • State will continue to play a leading role in ensuring that our efforts are closely and effectively coordinated.

For additional information on Russia sanctions, please visit the following: