Following Washington's announcement of fresh sanctions on Russia for its alleged poisoning of an ex-spy in Britain, a raft of more sweeping and binding measures is in the pipeline — if they can be passed by Congress.
And several experts believe these measures are likely to push their way through to becoming law before the midterm elections.
On Wednesday, Russian newspaper Kommersant published the draft by U.S. senators of the Defending American Security from Kremlin Aggression Act of 2018 (DASKAA), which details broad sanctions on investments in Russian energy projects, Russian sovereign debt, oligarchs and national banks. The bill also calls for new protections for the NATO alliance and requires U.S. intelligence agencies to report President Vladimir Putin's personal wealth.
If passed, it would completely prevent American entities from purchasing Russian debt securities, sanction Russian state banks and potentially issue secondary sanctions on investing in the country's oil sector, something that would draw particular opposition from the European Union.
Sanctions experts have described the measures as "extreme" and "nuclear" as well as broad-based and more likely to be effective than previous efforts to deter Russian election interference.
While likely to be heavily debated and amended before going to a final vote, the measures detailed in the bill are expected to be a more powerful tool against Moscow.
"The document clearly shows the determination to go further than before in order to cause damage for Russia," Liza Ermolenko, emerging Europe economist at Barclays Plc, wrote in a client note Wednesday.