Trade data shows that if the sanctions are far-reaching, the implications for the metals trade could be huge.
Last year, the USA imported unwrought aluminium worth $432.92 million from Russia, and aluminium and related articles valued at $538.75 million. It exported the same products to Russia, generating $364,875 and $9.20 million in receipts, respectively.
During the same year, Russian titanium and related articles worth $168.38 million entered the USA, and the USA exported $12.29 million of these products to Russia.
The USA also imported ferro-alloys ($221.89 million); unwrought nickel ($155.03 million); and nickel and related articles ($161.11 million) from Russia in 2013.
In the same year, the USA exported unwrought nickel ($341,619) and nickel and articles ($4.95 million) to Russia.
In 2011, the latest period for which data could be obtained, the USA exported just $11,550 of ferro-alloys to Russia.
The USA also imported $1.4 million of Russian unwrought refined copper and copper alloys, while exporting very little of the same ($3,688) to Russia last year.
The USA imported $14,069 of zinc ores and concentrates from Russia and exported $94,153 of zinc oxide and zinc peroxide in 2013.
The EU is also mulling sanctions against Russia, should it make further moves against Ukraine.
The EU in 2012 imported from Russia aluminium ores and concentrates worth $1.2 million; aluminium and related articles worth $1.89 billion; and unwrought aluminium valued at $1.35 billion.
Meanwhile, the EU exported to Russia aluminium ores and concentrates generating receipts of $5.07 million; aluminium and related articles worth $710.09 million; and unwrought aluminium costing $5.85 million.
The EU imported $1.94 million of titanium ores and concentrates from Russia in 2012, and $251.42 million of titanium and related articles, while exporting $3.37 million and $11.15 million, respectively, to Russia.
The EU also imported from Russia unwrought magnesium worth $9.26 million from Russia and magnesium and related articles worth $10.18 million in 2012.
Meanwhile, it exported $218 million of unwrought magnesium to Russia and $242,824 of magnesium and related articles. The EU imported $670.35 million of ferro-alloys and exported $29.43 million’s worth to Russia in 2012.
*Additional reporting by Hanna Lange-Chenier
[This article was originally published at 12:40 on April 10. It was republished after a Malaysian Airlines plane crashed on July 17 after flying across eastern Ukraine, raising the possibility of further sanctions against Russia. US secretary of state John Kerry said on July 20 Russia armed the separatists
that he said shot down the plane.