US Sanctions On Russia Cause Competitive Loss Of Position For US Firms - AmCham

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US Sanctions on Russia Cause Competitive Loss of Position for US Firms - AmCham

Imposing additional sanctions on Russia by the US may lead to a loss of opportunities for US firms and cause Russia to develop closer business ties with other parties, the head of the American Chamber of Commerce in Russia, Alexis Rodzianko, told Sputnik

MOSCOW (UrduPoint News / Sputnik - 06th April, 2021) Imposing additional sanctions on Russia by the US may lead to a loss of opportunities for US firms and cause Russia to develop closer business ties with other parties, the head of the American Chamber of Commerce in Russia, Alexis Rodzianko, told Sputnik.

In March, US President Joe Biden imposed a new round of sanctions against Russian individuals over the situation with jailed opposition figure Alexey Navalny.

"Obviously the first impact is it prevents the US companies from doing good business, so the lack of business done by the American companies is the damage to the US economy. That costs jobs, that costs opportunities and in some nature creates a vacuum - so there will be a solution found and it won't be US companies that participate in that solution. That is the harm - competitive loss of position by the US companies," Rodzianko said.

Early on in the new US presidential administration's term, White House aides admitted that the US was "pretty sanctioned out" when it came to Russia. Rodzianko said he does not believe Washington would begin pressuring US financial systems that provide services to the Russian government, as has been speculated.

"The one area that's been speculated quite a bit is further restrictions on the financial system of the US working with Russian government entities that issue bonds and the participation of Russia in international payments. I do not expect restrictions to be placed on those activities more than they already have been," Rodzianko said.

According to the AmCham CEO, boosting business ties is in the interest of both countries. An annual report by the US trade regulator (USTR) published last week notably says that the country will continue pushing for opening up the Russian market for its companies.

"We certainly have made that argument to the US government that it is in everybody's interest for the business relations to continue and to grow.

That's a very constructive part of our relationship and that constructive part of our relationship should not be harmed and in fact should be allowed to expand," Rodzianko continued.

The American chamber therefore does "not expect actions against our business interests in Russia."

"It's not a very, very big part of the US business, but Russia is as an individual country, one of the largest markets in Europe. Russia is a wealthy country with a lot of wealthy people, and it has a lot of demand. So our companies who operate here do very well. It's a good market today and it has the potential to be a much better market in the future," the CEO said.

The AmCham chief, however, does not rule out that Russia-US relations could hit another low by June 2, when a 90-day period expires for Moscow to respond to Washington's allegations of it breaching the Chemical Weapons Convention.

The US, he went on, has "a certain list of menu options" under its chemical weapons law regarding how to act after the deadline expires. One of them could be scaling back diplomatic relations, Rodzianko noted, mentioning the ongoing review of US diplomatic presence in Russia under Biden, including the "suspended status" of the consulate in Vladivostok and a pause in visa and US citizen services at the Consulate-General in Yekaterinburg.

The transfer of power in the US this year resulted in no respite in the US-Russian relationship, as President Joe Biden banded with UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson to slap new sanctions on Russian individuals seen as close to Russian leader Vladimir Putin. Furthermore, in an interview with ABC news, Biden was asked whether he thought Putin was a killer, to which he replied in the affirmative, taking bilateral relations to a new low.