Russian oil traders: New US sanctions 'business as usual'

Russian oil traders: New US sanctions 'business as usual'

Key players in Russia's energy industry say they aren't concerned about new U.S. sanctions, calling them more of an inconvenience than a barrier to doing business.

Reuters reported on Tuesday that Russian oil traders say they won't be affected by the sanctions, which President Trump signed into law in early August with wide bipartisan support.

“Business as usual,” said one trader who spoke on the condition of anonymity.

Another trader concurred, saying the new law specifically designed to target Russia's energy sector has not had a "strong effect" on the industry's profits.

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In particular, the bill reduces the time period during which Russian companies can receive financing from U.S.-based firms from 90 to 60 days.

“Okay, so it (the financing period) is being cut, that means we need to turn it around in 60 days, not 90,” one trader told Reuters. “You need to keep a close eye on it. But it hasn’t had a strong effect.”

“It’s an increase in operational and financial costs,” added another.

Trump had warned the sanctions bill might "encroach" on his authority, as it prohibits him from loosening sanctions in the future.

“The bill ... encroaches on the executive branch’s authority to negotiate,” Trump said in a signing statement. “Congress could not even negotiate a healthcare bill after seven years of talking.”

Trump's veto would have almost certainly been overridden by Congress, which passed the bill overwhelmingly in both chambers.