Skip to main content
×
×
Home

Trump Administration Imposes Sanctions on Russia for Chemical Weapons Use, While More Generally Sending Mixed Signals Regarding NATO and Russia

Extract

During the summer of 2018, U.S. diplomacy related to the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) and Russia took sharp twists and turns. President Trump's statements at a pair of diplomatic events abroad in July sowed confusion regarding the continued U.S. commitment to NATO and the nature of the relationship between the White House and the Kremlin. Yet despite some wariness regarding NATO and a desire to have “a very good relationship with Russia,” Trump joined a robust NATO summit declaration that emphasized Russian malfeasance and reaffirmed the importance of the North Atlantic Alliance. Several weeks later, the U.S. State Department announced the imposition of new sanctions on Russia pursuant to the Chemical and Biological Weapons Control and Warfare Elimination Act of 1991.

  • View HTML
    • Send article to Kindle

      To send this article to your Kindle, first ensure no-reply@cambridge.org is added to your Approved Personal Document E-mail List under your Personal Document Settings on the Manage Your Content and Devices page of your Amazon account. Then enter the ‘name’ part of your Kindle email address below. Find out more about sending to your Kindle. Find out more about sending to your Kindle.

      Note you can select to send to either the @free.kindle.com or @kindle.com variations. ‘@free.kindle.com’ emails are free but can only be sent to your device when it is connected to wi-fi. ‘@kindle.com’ emails can be delivered even when you are not connected to wi-fi, but note that service fees apply.

      Find out more about the Kindle Personal Document Service.

      Trump Administration Imposes Sanctions on Russia for Chemical Weapons Use, While More Generally Sending Mixed Signals Regarding NATO and Russia
      Available formats
      ×
      Send article to Dropbox

      To send this article to your Dropbox account, please select one or more formats and confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies. If this is the first time you use this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your <service> account. Find out more about sending content to Dropbox.

      Trump Administration Imposes Sanctions on Russia for Chemical Weapons Use, While More Generally Sending Mixed Signals Regarding NATO and Russia
      Available formats
      ×
      Send article to Google Drive

      To send this article to your Google Drive account, please select one or more formats and confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies. If this is the first time you use this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your <service> account. Find out more about sending content to Google Drive.

      Trump Administration Imposes Sanctions on Russia for Chemical Weapons Use, While More Generally Sending Mixed Signals Regarding NATO and Russia
      Available formats
      ×
Copyright
References
Hide All

1 President's News Conference with Prime Minister Theresa May of the United Kingdom in Buckinghamshire, United Kingdom, at 6, 2018 Daily Comp. Pres. Doc. No. 483 (July 13, 2018) (also remarking that “NATO is really there for Europe, much more so than us … no matter what our military people or your military people say, it helps Europe more than it helps us”).

2 NATO Press Release, Brussels Summit Declaration, paras. 1, 4–9 (July 11, 2018), at https://www.nato.int/cps/en/natohq/official_texts_156624.htm [hereinafter Brussels Summit Declaration].

3 U.S. Dep't of State Press Release, Imposition of Chemical and Biological Weapons Control and Warfare Elimination Act Sanctions on Russia (Aug. 8, 2018), at https://www.state.gov/r/pa/prs/ps/2018/08/285043.htm [https://perma.cc/ALF3-RMJ2] [hereinafter Aug. 8 State Dep't Press Release, Sanctions Imposition].

4 Julie Hirschfeld Davis, Trump Warns NATO Allies to Spend More on Defense, or Else, N.Y. Times (July 2, 2018), at https://www.nytimes.com/2018/07/02/world/europe/trump-nato.html?rref=collection%2Fsectioncollection%2Feurope. In a separate diplomatic development this month, Trump also cast the G-7 summit “into disarray” by declining to endorse its final communique. Vivian Salama, Kim Mackrael & Paul Vieira, Trump Says U.S. Won't Endorse G-7 Communique, Threatens Auto Tariffs, Wall St. J. (June 9, 2018), at https://www.wsj.com/articles/donald-trump-pitches-tariff-free-trade-zone-to-g-7-allies-1528556581.

5 Davis, supra note 4 (quoting Trump's letter to Merkel).

9 See Donald J. Trump, Remarks at a Breakfast with Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization and an Exchange with Reporters in Brussels, Belgium, at 2, 2018 Daily Comp. Pres. Doc. 478 (July 11, 2018) (“I think it's very sad when Germany makes a massive oil and gas deal with Russia, where you're supposed to be guarding against Russia, and Germany goes out and pays billions and billions of dollars a year to Russia.”); Michael Birnbaum & Philip Rucker, At NATO, Trump Claims Allies Make New Defense Spending Commitments After He Upends Summit, Wash. Post (July 12, 2018), at https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/europe/trump-upends-nato-summit-demanding-immediate-spending-increases-or-he-willdo-his-own-thing/2018/07/12/a3818cc6-7f0a-11e8-a63f-7b5d2aba7ac5_story.html?utm_term=.33d0af4238fb (“President Trump jolted a NATO summit on Thursday with a last-minute demand that leaders immediately pour billions into their military budgets … .”).

10 Brussels Summit Declaration, supra note 2; Helene Cooper & Julian E. Barnes, U.S. Officials Scrambled Behind the Scenes to Shield NATO Deal from Trump, N.Y. Times (Aug. 9, 2018) https://www.nytimes.com/2018/08/09/us/politics/nato-summit-trump.html (reporting that the text was finalized in advance of the summit). In addition to this Declaration, the NATO countries agreed on several other declarations, including a considerably shorter Declaration on Transatlantic Security and Solidarity and a joint declaration with Georgia. See NATO Press Release, Brussels Declaration on Transatlantic Security and Solidarity (July 11, 2018), at https://www.nato.int/cps/en/natohq/official_texts_156620.htm?selectedLocale=en; NATO Press Release, NATO-Georgia Commission Declaration at the Brussels Summit (July 12, 2018), at https://www.nato.int/cps/en/natohq/official_texts_156627.htm?selectedLocale=en.

11 See generally Brussels Summit Declaration, supra note 2.

12 Id., para. 1.

13 Id., para. 4.

14 Id., paras. 6, 9; see also id. paras. 4–5, 7–8 (making additional statements regarding Russia).

15 Id., para. 3.

16 Id. (offering further specifics). This 2014 pledge set various standards with respect to military spending, most notably that NATO countries who spent less than 2% of their gross domestic product on defense would “aim to move towards the 2% guideline within a decade … .” NATO Press Release, Wales Summit Declaration (Sept. 5, 2014), at https://www.nato.int/cps/en/natohq/official_texts_112964.htm. The extent to which Trump extracted additional commitments beyond those set forth in the 2018 Brussels Summit Declaration is unclear. See Birnbaum & Rucker, supra note 9 (noting the different views expressed on this point).

17 Trump, Donald J., President's News Conference in Brussels, Belgium, at 1, 2018 Daily Comp. Pres. Doc. 481 (July 12, 2018).

18 Id. at 2.

19 Id.

20 Id. at 3.

21 Donald J. Trump, President's News Conference with President Vladimir Vladimirovich Putin of Russia in Helsinki, Finland, at 2, 2018 Daily Comp. Pres. Doc. 488 (July 16, 2018).

22 Id. at 11; see also Jeremy Herb, U.S. Intel Chiefs Unanimous that Russia is Targeting 2018 Elections, CNN (Feb. 14, 2018), at https://www.cnn.com/2018/02/13/politics/intelligence-chiefs-russia-2018-elections-target/index.html (noting that the director of national intelligence, the CIA director, the FBI director, and three other intelligence chiefs all testified affirmatively to the conclusion that Russia had interfered in the 2016 election).

23 Paul Leblanc, Trump “Acting Like Someone Who's Compromised,” Democratic Congressman Says, Newsweek (July 22, 2018), at https://www.newsweek.com/trump-acting-compromised-adam-schiff-democratic-congressman-says-1036390 (quoting comments by Senator Schumer on the day after the Helsinki conference).

24 Office of Speaker Paul Ryan Press Release, Statement on Russia (July 16, 2018), at https://www.speaker.gov/press-release/statement-russia [https://perma.cc/S5RH-MGWB]. For responses of other leading Republicans and Democrats, see Lauren Fox, Top Republicans in Congress Break with Trump Over Putin Comments, CNN (July 17, 2018), at https://www.cnn.com/2018/07/16/politics/congress-reaction-trump-putin-comments/index.html.

25 Donald J. Trump, Remarks in a Meeting with Republican Members of Congress and an Exchange with Reporters, at 2, 2018 Daily Comp. Pres. Doc. 489 (July 17, 2018).

26 Aug. 8 State Dep't Press Release, Sanctions Imposition, supra note 3. For discussion of earlier U.S. responses to the attack, which occurred in March in the city of Salisbury, see Jean Galbraith, Contemporary Practice of the United States, 112 AJIL 493 (2018).

27 Pub. L. No. 102–182, § 306, 105 Stat. 1233, 1252–53 (1991) (codified at 22 U.S.C. § 5604). One of the two poisoning victims, Yulia Skripal, is a Russian citizen. Patrick Wintour & Shaun Walker, Russia Expels Diplomat in Tit-for-Tat Actions Over Salisbury Attack, Guardian (Mar. 29, 2018), at https://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/2018/mar/29/russia-accuses-uk-of-violating-international-law-skripal-case.

28 Pub. L. No. 102–182, at § 307(a), 105 Stat. at 1254 (codified at 22 U.S.C. § 5605(a)).

29 Id. at § 307(b), 105 Stat. at 1254–55 (codified at 22 U.S.C. § 5605(b)). For the second round, the president is instructed to impose at least three of the following six kinds of sanctions: opposing loans and assistance to that country by international development banks; banning U.S. banks from making most kinds of loans to that government; imposing additional restrictions on exports to that country; imposing additional restrictions on imports from that country; downgrading diplomatic relations; and suspending air transportation into and out of the United States by an airline controlled by that government. Id.

30 Id. at § 307(d), 105 Stat. at 1256 (codified at 22 U.S.C. § 5605(d)) (further requiring that the president give the relevant congressional committees fifteen days of notice of the exercise of a waiver). The waiver authority covers all sanctions except the sanction of downgrading diplomatic relations, which is one that the president likely has the constitutional authority to decline to impose regardless.

31 Aug. 8 State Dep't Press Release, Sanctions Imposition, supra note 3; see also U.S. Dep't of State Press Release, Special Briefing, Previewing the Imposition of Chemical and Biological Weapons Control and Warfare Elimination Sanctions on Russia (Aug. 8, 2018) [hereinafter Aug. 8 State Dep't Press Release, Sanctions Preview], at https://www.state.gov/r/pa/prs/ps/2018/08/285046.htm [https://perma.cc/7BGF-NWNZ] (explaining that this determination was made somewhat later than the sixty-day period mandated by the statute because “[t]hese are complicated pieces of moving equipment, if you will, inside the U.S. bureaucracy”).

32 Determinations Regarding Use of Chemical Weapons by Russia Under the Chemical and Biological Weapons Control and Warfare Elimination Act of 1991, 83 Fed. Reg. 43,723 (Aug. 27, 2018).

33 Id. at 43,723–24.

34 Aug. 8 State Dep't Press Release, Sanctions Preview, supra note 31.

35 Id.

36 Rod J. Rosenstein, Acting Attorney General, Order. No. 3915–2017 re Appointment of Special Counsel to Investigate Russian Interference with the 2016 Presidential Election and Related Matters (May 17, 2017), available at https://www.justice.gov/opa/press-release/file/967231/download [https://perma.cc/6M9E-T4ZV].

37 E.g., Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump), Twitter (Aug. 1, 2018, 6:24 AM), at https://twitter.com/realdonaldtrump/status/1024646945640525826 [https://perma.cc/9P2G-A39E]; Olivia Paschal, Trump's Tweets and the Creation of “Illusory Truth, Atlantic (Aug. 3, 2018), at https://www.theatlantic.com/politics/archive/2018/08/how-trumps-witch-hunt-tweets-create-an-illusory-truth/566693 (noting Trump had used “Witch Hunt” to describe the Mueller investigation at least eighty-four times in 2018).

38 See generally Indictment, United States v. Netyksho, No. 1:18-cr-00215, 2018 WL 3407381 (D.D.C filed July 13, 2018), available at https://www.documentcloud.org/documents/4598892-DNC-Hack-Indictment.html#document [https://perma.cc/B3KC-GJ25].

39 Id., para. 20.

40 Pub. L. No. 115–44, § 292, 131 Stat. 886, 939–40 (2017) (also stating Congress's sense that “the United States remains fully committed to the North Atlantic Treaty Organization and will honor its obligations enshrined in Article 5”).

41 For discussion of these sanctions and the extent to which they have been implemented by the Trump administration, see Kristina Daugirdas & Julian Davis Mortenson, Contemporary Practice of the United States, 111 AJIL 1015, 1017–21 (2017); Jean Galbraith, Contemporary Practice of the United States, 112 AJIL 296, 296–302 (2018); Galbraith, supra note 26, at 493.

42 White House Press Release, President Donald J. Trump Signs H.R. 5515 into Law (Aug. 13, 2018), at https://www.whitehouse.gov/briefings-statements/president-donald-j-trump-signs-h-r-5515-law [https://perma.cc/HD4G-XXEH].

43 Pub. L. No. 115–232, § 1248(a), _ Stat. _ (2018). For a summary of other provisions in the act, including ones relevant to NATO and Russia, see Anderson, Scott R., Chambers, Sarah Tate & Reynolds, Molly E., What's in the New NDAA, Lawfare (Aug. 14, 2018), at https://www.lawfareblog.com/whats-new-ndaa.

Recommend this journal

Email your librarian or administrator to recommend adding this journal to your organisation's collection.

American Journal of International Law
  • ISSN: 0002-9300
  • EISSN: 2161-7953
  • URL: /core/journals/american-journal-of-international-law
Please enter your name
Please enter a valid email address
Who would you like to send this to? *
×

Metrics

Full text views

Total number of HTML views: 0
Total number of PDF views: 0 *
Loading metrics...

Abstract views

Total abstract views: 0 *
Loading metrics...

* Views captured on Cambridge Core between <date>. This data will be updated every 24 hours.

Usage data cannot currently be displayed