International

Tillerson eliminates key State Department sanctions office: report

Getty Images

Secretary of State Rex Tillerson has eliminated a key office within the State Department that coordinates foreign sanctions policy, according to a new report.

Former diplomats and congressional sources told Foreign Policy that Tillerson has eliminated the office of the Coordinator for Sanctions Policy as part of his plan to revamp the State Department.

The Policy Planning Office, which previously did not control programs or initiatives at State, will now be responsible for the work done by the Coordinator of Sanctions Policy Office, according to Foreign Policy.

{mosads}The magazine reports there are mixed reactions to the elimination of the office.

Daniel Fried, who previously served as the coordinator for sanctions policy, said that “you can’t read into that a lack of commitment to sanctions.”

“It’s not as if [the administration] is gutting sanctions altogether,” Fried told Foreign Policy.

The office was created under former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton to work with the Treasury Department to coordinate sanctions across multiple departments in both agencies.

A former State Department official told Foreign Policy that the move is akin to the State Department saying “we’re just going back to the phone where there’s no clear coordination.”

The move comes after President Trump’s administration missed an Oct. 1 deadline on implementing new sanctions against Russia.

Sens. John McCain (R-Ariz.) and Ben Cardin (D-Md.) slammed the Trump administration for missing the deadline, saying the delay “calls into question the Trump administration’s commitment to the sanctions bill.”

Sen. Bob Corker (R-Tenn.) said on Thursday the Trump administration is moving forward with the sanctions, with the State Department soon working to identify entities in the Russian intelligence and defense sectors in line for the sanctions.

Tags Ben Cardin Bob Corker Donald Trump Hillary Clinton John McCain Rex Tillerson Rex Tillerson State Department

Most Popular

Load more

Video

See all Video