The Russian arms industry has lost more than $3 billion in failed weapons deals with third countries over the threat of U.S. sanctions, the State Department told reporters on Tuesday.
The Trump administration has held off on imposing sanctions on Russia’s intelligence and defense sectors mandated by legislation passed nearly unanimously by U.S. Congress last year, drawing criticism for failing to penalize Moscow. In January, the U.S. Treasury ratcheted up the pressure on Russia’s elite by publishing a list of 210 individuals tied to the Kremlin that could be the target of future sanctions.
A State Department spokeswoman said the agency was “pleased” that the threat of new sanctions had dissuaded some countries from buying “certain Russian materials and supplies.”
“We believe somewhere north of $3 billion — we’ve been able to stop those transactions,” spokeswoman Heather Nauert said at a daily briefing on Tuesday.
“Stopping transactions like that is, in effect, a punishment,” she said.
Addressing accusations that Washington does not want to punish the Kremlin for election meddling, Nauert stressed that “comb[ing] through” companies that do business with Russia “will continue to take some time.”