Unclear Future for Russian Issuance as US Sanctions Talk Returns

February 01, 2018

James Treanor comments on the recent publication of a U.S. Treasury Department list that is expected to precede new sanctions on Russian business.

Excerpts from "Unclear Future for Russian Issuance as US Sanctions Talk Returns," GlobalCaptial, February 1, 2018:

“The public list is something you can’t do much with,” said James Treanor, an associate in the Washington, DC office of law firm Cadwalader, Wickersham & Taft. “There isn’t a lot of new information there. But the existence of the classified annex along with US treasury secretary [Steven] Mnuchin’s statement that there will be sanctions coming out of this report, classified or unclassified, leaves industry wondering about the future.They know something is going to happen but they don’t know what or when so it does create some uncertainty.” 

“There are three approaches firms might take if they are dealing with a prospective issuer on this list,” said Treanor. “They might try and rush things through if they are already in progress before any more sanctions do come out, put things on pause, or keep going about their business with the view that this doesn’t really provide any concrete information to act upon.” 

It is unclear that the next steps will be on sanctions but Treanor said there was now an expectation that sanctions would follow this report. “We don’t have a concrete timeline other than what Mnuchin reportedly said, which was that in a few months — maybe as little as a month — there will be new sanctions,” he said. “My guess is that will be the next immediate step and everyone will be waiting anxiously to see what will be done. Congress could also act on its own, as it did last year.