Oct. 26 (UPI) -- The U.S. State Department took steps toward issuing sanctions against Russia Thursday, nearly a month behind schedule.
The department sent Congress a list of entities linked to the defense and intelligence arms of the Russian government on Thursday, 25 days after the Oct. 1 deadline required by law.
"Secretary of State Rex Tillerson has authorized the department to issue guidance to the public specifying the persons or entities that are part of or operating on behalf of the defense or intelligence sectors of the government of the Russian Federation," State Department Spokeswoman Heather Nauert said. "What that means is that Secretary Tillerson has signed off on this and it is now being held on Capitol Hill."
Nauert added the State Department also reached out to "key US industry stakeholders and our allies and partners" to explain the list.
The list names more than 30 companies as associated with Russia's defense sector and several entities as linked to Russia's intelligence sector and will guide sanctions the administration must begin to take on Jan. 29, 2018, The Wall Street Journal reported.
The information sent to Congress also included guidance about the type of transactions that might incur sanctions.
Sen. Ben Cardin, D-Md., and Sen. John McCain, R-Az., had criticized the delay, but said Thursday the release of the list was a step in the right direction toward holding Russia accountable for its attack on our election."
Nauert said the the extra time was needed to make the assessments required by the law.
"This has been in the works for quite some time," she said.