If You Own A Kalashnikov Rifle, Obama Just Sanctioned You
If you thought the latest round of US sanctions against some largely unknown Russians and a few new companies listed here, most notably Rosneft and Gazprombank - but not Gazprom, never Gazprom - that would cut off Russian gas to Europe and Merkel doesn't want that - would be largely a non-event, you are right. Unless you own a Kalashnikov, aka AK-47 rifle. In which case read on.
From the updated sanctions FAQ:
If I own a Kalashnikov product, is that product blocked by sanctions? Am I able to resell a Kalashnikov product at a gun show or other secondary market?
If a U.S. person is in possession of a Kalashnikov Concern product that was bought and fully paid for prior to the date of designation (i.e., no payment remains due to Kalashnikov Concern), then that product is not blocked and OFAC sanctions would not prohibit the U.S. person from keeping or selling the product in the secondary market, so long as Kalashnikov Concern has no interest in the transaction. New transactions by U.S. persons with Kalashnikov Concern are prohibited, however, and any property in which Kalashnikov Concern has an interest is blocked pursuant to OFAC’s designation of Kalashnikov Concern on July 16, 2014. If a U.S. person has an inventory of Kalashnikov Concern products in which Kalashnikov Concern has an interest (for example, the products are not fully paid for or are being sold on consignment), we advise that U.S. person to contact OFAC for further guidance on handling of the inventory.
If I have Kalashnikov products in my inventory, can I sell them?
If a U.S. person has an inventory of Kalashnikov Concern products in which Kalashnikov Concern has an interest (for example, the products are not fully paid for or are being sold on consignment), we advise that U.S. person to contact OFAC for further guidance on handling of the inventory.
In other words, the US just froze any transactions involving products made by the world's most popular assault rifle: both purchases and sales. For now, however, one can still buy Russian-made gold and silver. And US rifles, of course.... For now that is.
As for Putin's response, once he is done laughing, we hope to see the newly-launched BRIC bank provide its first bilateral liquidity swaps with the named individuals and companies. Because that would conveniently frame what the endgame will look like.
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